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Defence, counter-terrorism, maritime security, education, health, climate and clean energy among key agendas in India-US talks this week

India and the US met this week to advance cooperation on a range of bilateral issues. The agenda, according to a Press Release by the Ministry of External Affairs, included discussion on “defence, counter-terrorism, maritime security, education, health, climate and clean energy, critical technologies, space, and people-to-people linkages".

The Indian delegation at the talks was led by Ms. Vani Rao, Additional Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs while the American delegation was led Mr. Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State (South and Central Asian Affairs) and Dr. Ely Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defence (Indo-Pacific Security Affairs).

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, both sides discussed “discussed developments in the global maritime domain, bilateral maritime cooperation endeavours, regional support initiatives and collaborative efforts such as Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness."

India and the United States also continued to strengthen their values based partnership. Both sides “affirmed their shared desire to enhance maritime security internationally and strengthen cooperation towards a free, open and inclusive maritime order that would support security, inclusive growth and prosperity", the press statement detailing the meeting read.

The discussion also touched upon regional issues with discussion of events in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region.

While taking stock of the current state of play in the defence relationship, India and the US also “discussed ways to further strengthen the Major Defence Partnership, including in new and emerging areas in the defence domain such as space, AI and cyber."

New Delhi and Washington closed the meeting by agreeing “to remain engaged with the objective of further enhancing the depth and substance of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership."

Officials from India’s Ministry of Defence, National Security Council Secretariat, Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard participated in the Maritime Security Dialogue.