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India, US discuss cooperation in Indo-Pacific

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) India and the US on Friday discussed cooperation in defence, foreign policy and the Indo-Pacific region during the course of a 2+2 inter-sessional meeting here on Friday.

According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry here, the inter-sessional meeting was set up following the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held last year to make continued progress on bilateral cooperation on cross-cutting defence and foreign policy issues of interest to both sides.

“The two sides also exchanged views on regional developments as partners and stakeholders for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” the statement said.

India, the US, Japan and Australia are part of a quad revived in 2017 that seeks to work for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, a region that spreads from the east coast of Japan to the east coast of Africa.

The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held here in September last year was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

In Friday’s meeting, the India side was led by Gourangalal Das, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs and S Kumaran, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence while the US delegation was led by Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defence.

–IANS
ab/vin

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