India and the US have resolved to work together to realise the full potential of the bilateral strategic global partnership, which they stressed is rooted in shared values of freedom, justice, human rights, and commitment to the rule of law.
In a Joint Statement issued after the 2+2 Dialogue between India and the US, the two nations reiterated their commitment to a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, the four leaders reaffirmed that closer US-India cooperation is instrumental to promoting security and prosperity in the broader Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Defense Secretary Mark Esper hosted the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for the second 2+2 talks in Washington DC on Wednesday.
"The four ministers positively appraised the growing partnership between the United States and India, grounded in mutual trust and friendship, democratic values, people-to-people ties, and a common commitment to the prosperity of their citizens," said the joint statement.
During the meeting the four ministers noted that the deepening strategic partnership between the United States and India is rooted in shared values of freedom, justice, human rights, and commitment to the rule of law, it said.
They resolved to work together in the 2+2 framework as a whole-of-government effort to realise the full potential of the US-India strategic global partnership, guided by the shared vision of President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
They intend to maintain regular communication on emerging developments through the newly established secure communication lines between the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the two countries, said the joint statement.
Reaffirming their shared vision for greater connectivity in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific, they noted the progress of ongoing initiatives being undertaken by the United States and by India for the development of infrastructure and connectivity in the region.
Welcoming the enhanced diplomatic consultation and coordination between the two countries, the United States reaffirmed its strong support for India's permanent role in a reformed UN Security Council and for India's early entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
In view of the importance of greater regional and global collaboration to reduce risks from natural disasters, the ministers welcomed the United States joining the recently created Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. In this regard, they also welcomed ongoing technical cooperation, including with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the joint statement said.
Appreciating Modi's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, the joint statement recommended building on the US-India Oceans Dialogue to advance shared oceanic priorities, including combating pollution, fisheries enforcement, scientific exploration, and species documentation in the Indian Ocean.
Conveying their shared interest in a peaceful, secure, stable, united, democratic, inclusive and sovereign Afghanistan, the four ministers expressed support for Afghan-led and -owned negotiations that culminate in a sustainable peace, cessation of terrorist violence, and preservation of the gains of the last 18 years.
They applauded India's efforts to build trade linkages and multi-modal connectivity infrastructure for Afghanistan to enhance its regional connectivity to sustain growth and development over the long term.
Expressing their commitment to a common vision for the US-India Major Defence Partnership (MDP), the ministers sought to expand military-to-military cooperation and improve the defence and security partnership in the coming year, the joint statement said.
The US applauded India's leadership in establishing an Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), and decided to explore placement of a US liaison officer at the Centre to advance cooperation on maritime security across the region.
Noting rapid progress to implement the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which has already enabled valuable cooperation, the joint statement called for the quick installation of secure communication capabilities between the Armed Forces, including the Armies and Air Forces.
Both sides noted that continued COMCASA implementation would further enable growing military cooperation.
They also decided to continue the discussion on the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020 to enable greater geospatial information-sharing.
Welcoming the signing of the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), the joint statement said this will facilitate the exchange of classified military information between the US and Indian defense industries.
Both sides also expressed intent to meet in 2020 to discuss ISA implementation.
The ministers welcomed growing US-India defense trade, the shared commitment to defence innovation cooperation between their respective agencies, and India's increased contributions to the global defense supply chain.