WASHINGTON - The U.S-India "two-plus-two" ministerial dialogue in spring is expected to discuss regional security and bilateral navy cooperation, the U.S. Department of Defense said Thursday.

Speaking of the meeting, the first ever in history, U.S. Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White said in a press briefing that the goal of the two nations is "to ensure that we are working together on an array of issues with respect to regional security."

White also highlighted the bilateral navy cooperation, saying "that's one of the issues that we definitely want to work with the Indian navy at, much more closely, and see what we can do, particularly with respect to the lines between Fifth Fleet and Seventh Fleet."

While noting that the meeting agenda is still being laid out, White said maritime security is absolutely "on the agenda."

"India plays a very important role and therefore the more we can have a conversation not only about Afghanistan and the future of Afghanistan but also ... how can we work together on maritime security," she said.

"There's a great deal that we can learn from each other and so the secretary looks forward to that conversation," she added.

In a statement in August last year, the White House said that the United States and India will start a new two-by-two ministerial dialogue to "enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region."

The new dialogue, replacing the earlier U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, will elevate the leaders "strategic consultations."

Indian English-language daily The Hindustan Times reported on Jan. 1 that the ministers involved in the new dialogue will be foreign ministers and defense chiefs of the two sides.

The media outlet quoted officials in Washington and New Delhi on condition of anonymity as saying that instead of piecemeal purchases, India wants a "full defense package" from the United States.

According to the report, India is expected to buy 22 Guardian maritime surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and the latest Avenger UAVs from the United States on the condition that they will be weaponized and upgraded at a later stage.

India will also reportedly insist during the dialogue that the United States should not release the frozen military aid to Pakistan, it said.

U.S. security assistance to Pakistan has been suspended following President Donald Trump's tweet at the year's beginning, in which he charged that Pakistan "gives safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help."

The two sides may also discuss the instability in West Asia in the hope to draw strategy to counter the terrorist group, Islamic State, the report added.