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Press Statement by External Affairs Minister Following the 3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial meeting

October 27, 2020

Raksha Mantriji, Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Esper,
Friends of the media,

As you have heard from my colleagues, we have just concluded the third India-US 2+2 dialogue. This format is reflective of our Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. Before our meeting today, I met Secretary Pompeo yesterday to discuss range of foreign policy issues. These have been two very productive days and I thank our counterparts for making that happen for taking that effort to come here physically.

If I may say so myself, the performance of our relationship in the last few years has been exceptionally positive. Political consultations and cooperation have grown, defence exchanges and trade too, economic interactions and commerce are up, the partnership in science, technology and innovation is stronger and our energy security clearly enhanced. Not least, the unique people-to-people contacts that defines this relationship remains vibrant, whether in the flow of talent, in education or in tourism.

We discussed our experiences in responding to the Covid-19 challenge at some length. The facilitation of travel even during the pandemic was very commendable. Today, our collaboration concentrates more on the domains of vaccine and testing that are so central to the return of normalcy. We are also committed to creating more trusted and resilient global supply chains. An India that is now focussed on recovery, resilience and reform welcomes an expanded partnership with the United States.

The 2+2 dialogue has a pol-mil agenda that underlines our close bilateral relationship. Our national security convergences have obviously grown in a more multi-polar world. We meet today to not only advance our own interests but to ensure that our bilateral cooperation makes a positive contribution in the world arena. We are also committed to addressing together global issues ranging from HADR situations to maritime security and counter-terrorism.

As you have heard from my colleagues, the Indo-Pacific region was a particular focus of our talks. We reiterated the importance of peace, stability and prosperity for all countries in this region. As Raksha Mantri stated, this is possible only by upholding the rules based international order, ensuring the freedom of navigation in the international seas, promoting open connectivity and respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states. A multi-polar world must have a multi-polar Asia as its basis.

Discussions also covered developments in our neighbouring countries. We made clear that cross-border terrorism is completely unacceptable. On Afghanistan, India’s stakes in its security and stability are evident, as is our willingness to contribute to international efforts to that end.

India enters the UN Security Council on 1st of January 2021 as a non-permanent member. We look forward to working with the United States there, as in other multilateral platforms.

In conclusion, I thank Secretaries Pompeo and Esper once again for a very useful and very fruitful 2+2 dialogue.

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