India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue:
5th Edition of the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue took place, where both countries highlighted progress in various areas of bilateral cooperation including defense, semiconductors, emerging technology, space, health etc.
- The 2+2 meetings have been held annually with the US leaders since 2018.
- The 2+2 meetings signify the participation of two high-level representatives, Ministers holding Foreign and Defence portfolios, from each of the two countries who aim to enhance the scope of dialogue between them.
Key Highlights of the India-US 2+2 Dialogue:
- Both nations aimed to collaboratively co-develop and co-produce defence systems, fostering a deeper partnership in defence technologies.
- India and the U.S. are currently negotiating deals for the purchase of MQ-9B unmanned aerial vehicles and the licensed manufacturer of General Electric’s F-414 jet engine in India.
- These deals align with India’s goal of enhancing its defence capabilities.
- Both sides discussed infantry combat vehicles, particularly the Stryker, as part of the defence industry cooperation roadmap.
- Cooperation in infantry combat systems will be formalized once the Indian military’s needs are finalized, and a concrete production plan is established through collaboration between Indian and U.S. industry and military teams.
- Both sides reviewed the progress of the India-U.S. Defence Industrial Ecosystem, INDUS-X, launched in June 2023, aimed at expanding the strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation.
- India’s decision to become a full member of the Combined Maritime Forces, a multilateral construct headquartered in Bahrain, was welcomed by the Defense Secretary of the US.
- This move signifies India’s commitment to regional maritime security.
- Both nations shared a focus on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, acknowledging the importance of safeguarding vital sea lanes and promoting stability.
- The Ministers welcomed the rapid progress made under the India-US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) to build science and technology and critical technology value chain collaborations in both the commercial and defence sectors.
- The US emphasized that the bilateral relationship extends beyond addressing the challenges posed by China.
- The ongoing row between India and Canada, particularly concerning security concerns related to a Khalistan separatist based in the US and Canada, was addressed.
- India communicated its position on core security concerns to its partners.
- India reiterated its stance on the Israel-Hamas Conflict, advocating for a two-state solution (Two countries officially demarcated and Internationally Recognised) and the early resumption of dialogue.