The visit highlights the growing Major Defence Partnership between the United States and India, says Washington
NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON, Apr 8 (The CONNECT) – Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit the United States of America between April 11-14, 2022. Rajnath Singh along with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will participate in the 4th India-USA 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on April 11, 2022 in Washington DC. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin will represent the United States. The 2+2 Dialogue will review bilateral cooperation across domains and chart out the way forward.
Diplomatic observers view this meeting with significance in the light of Indo-Russian oil and defence deals more particularly in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Despite the US pressure, India refrained from voting against Russia in the UN resolutions and continued to buy oil at discounted rates from the Communist major. The US has expressed kits displeasure which New Delhi chose to ignore.
India also has several ongoing defence manufacture deals with Russia including the Brahmos missile.
Rajnath Singh will separately meet the US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin in Pentagon to discuss defence cooperation including defence industrial collaboration and capability building through military-to-military engagements. Rajnath Singh is also scheduled to visit the Headquarters of US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) at Hawaii subsequently.
A Department of State spokesperson said in Washington this year’s 2+2 event will celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations and reaffirm the importance of the U.S.-India Comprehensive and Global Strategic Partnership in ensuring international peace and security. It will reaffirm our shared commitment to a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
“The 2+2 Ministerial is an important opportunity to advance our shared objectives across the breadth of the U.S.-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 spokesperson said.
It is also a chance to highlight the growing Major Defense Partnership between the United States and India. 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 safeguards sovereignty and territorial integrity, upholds human rights, and expands regional and global peace and prosperity, the Department of State said.
From the US point of view, India is a major consumption nation which White House cannot afford to ignore.