New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that he will leave New Delhi tonight for a visit to the United States from April 10-15 for the fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington DC.
Rajnath said that this visit to the US will give him an opportunity to hold talks with US leadership on ways to deepen the India-US strategic partnership.
“I would be leaving New Delhi tonight for a visit to the United States from April 10 to April 15. I look forward to attending the Fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington DC. Also, I shall be visiting INDOPACOM headquarters in Hawai, during this visit,” Defence Minister said in a tweet.
“The visit to the United States will give me an opportunity to hold talks with @SecDef and @SecBlinken alongside @DrSJaishankar on ways to deepen the India-US strategic partnership,” the Minister said in another tweet.
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III will welcome Indian Defence Minister 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 has note informed that US State Secretary Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence will 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.