Biden believes ties with India is one of the most important relationships: White House

Washington [US]: President Joe Biden believes that the US-India partnership is the most important relationship the United States has in the world, said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday (local time).

Speaking about the India-US 2+2 dialogue under the Biden administration next week, the White House Press Secretary said that the President expects that the dialogue will continue driving forward US’ work with India and shared goals in the Indo-Pacific region.

“President Biden believes our partnership with India is one of the most important relationships we have in the world. As you know, he met with Presi- — Prime Minister Modi and other Quad leaders in March. He expects that at this 2+2, Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin will continue driving forward our work with India and our shared goals in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world,” she said in a statement.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III will welcome Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in an enhanced honour cordon ceremony at the Pentagon on April 11 (Sunday).

India and the US are set to hold the 2+2 dialogue between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and their respective American counterparts on Sunday.

“The Dialogue would enable both sides to undertake a comprehensive review of cross-cutting issues in the India-US bilateral agenda related to foreign policy, defence and security with the objective of providing strategic guidance and a vision for further consolidating the relationship,” a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement said.

“The 2+2 Dialogue will also provide an opportunity to exchange views about important regional and global developments and how we can work together to address issues of common interest and concern,” the statement added.

The US State Department, in a media note, informed that Secretary of State Antony J Blinken and Secretary of Defense would welcome their Indian counterparts in Washington DC on Sunday.

“The 2+2 Ministerial is an important opportunity to advance our shared objectives across the breadth of the US-India Strategic Partnership, including enhancing our people-to-people ties and education cooperation, building diverse, resilient supply chains for critical and emerging technology, scaling up our climate action and public health cooperation, and developing a trade and investment partnership to increase prosperity for working families in both countries,” the US statement had said.

Saying that the dialogue will also be a chance to highlight the growing major defence partnership between the US and India, the US State Department said, “The relationship between the world’s largest democracies is built on a foundation of common values and resilient democratic institutions, and the shared Indo-Pacific interests of a rules-based international order that safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity, uphold human rights and expands regional and global peace and prosperity.”

The EAM, who will be visiting the US on April 11-12, will also meet his counterpart, Secretary of State Blinken, separately and is also scheduled to meet senior members of the US administration to advance India-US strategic global partnership, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi informed during a briefing.

Ahead of the 2+2 dialogue, Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday spoke with EAM Jaishankar on a phone call to review regional and global priorities, including the situation in Ukraine.

The last 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the two countries was held in October 2020 in New Delhi.

India and the United States held a bilateral 2+2 inter-sessional meeting in September last year in Washington and exchanged assessments on developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and the Western Indian Ocean. (ANI)

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