India-US holds 2+2 ministerial dialogue amid Ukraine war


New Delhi: India and the United States discussed a wide array of issues at the 2+2 ministerial dialogue that was held on Monday in Washington. The war in Ukraine, now in its seventh week, defence cooperation and several other aspects that are at the heart of the bilateral ties emerged as the focus at the talks that come as the world grapples with challenges emerging due to one of the worst wars in Europe in decades and the pandemic that started two years ago.

Ahead of the talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US president Joe Biden held a virtual meeting and expressed concern over the Ukraine conflict that has affected millions. “The report card of our bilateral cooperation is an impressive one… we also partner closely in counter-terrorism and maritime security. The integrated perspective that we brought in this 2+2 format only underlines the games made in different domains in recent times. Our vaccine cooperation can enhance its affordability and accessibility,” S Jaishankar said at a press meet.

Stressing that the challenges in the Indo-Pacific were a particular focus of the discussions, S Jaishankar underlined that “Quad has emerged as a powerful force of global good”. “We appreciate the attention and energy devoted by the United States to the Quad. Its elevation and intensification in the last year benefits the entire Indo-Pacific,” the foreign minister was quoted as saying.

Biden “truly values strong alliances and partnerships like the one that we have with India” United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at a media briefing. “That’s what today is all about. It’s about taking our own relationship and making it even stronger,” he said.

India and the US are working together to try to bring more food to world markets as well as to the World Food Program, Antony Blinken said amid the Ukraine war.

“Had a wonderful meeting with the US @SecDef, Mr Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon today. We reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation and the regional security situation,” Rajnath Singh had said earlier in a tweet.

“Our discussions today have helped to strategize on mitigating the volatility and unpredictability that the world is currently experiencing; that’ll be naturally reflected in our policies. It has encouraged us to think together about long-term challenges, especially in the Indo-Pacific,” foreign minister S Jaishankar was quoted as saying.

Blinken also said that “no decision has been taken regarding potential sanctions or potential waivers” under the CAATSA law that imposes sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. “We continue to urge all countries to avoid major new transactions for Russian weapons systems, particularly in light of what Russia is doing to Ukraine,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. India and Russia have shared defence ties over the years, and it has been procuring S-400 air defence systems.

Amid a debate over the Russian energy purchase, India said its monthly purchase was smaller than what Europe buys in an afternoon.


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