India, U.S. to Review Key Bilateral Ties

New Delhi: India on Wednesday announced that its 2+2 Dialogue at the foreign and defence ministerial level with the United States would take place here on Friday.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar "will welcome US secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and secretary of defense Lloyd J. Austin III for the Fifth India-U.S. 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue "that will "enable a high-level review of the progress being made in cross-cutting aspects of defense and security cooperation, technology value chain collaborations and people-to-people ties," the government said.

This came on a day when the US announced that its International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has "committed more than half a billion dollars to support the development of a deepwater shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, that will provide critical infrastructure for the South Asian region", adding that "the investment further demonstrates the United States’ enduring commitment to Sri Lanka’s economic growth and its regional economic integration, including with India".

The American investment will be made in the Colombo port's West International Terminal in which, according to a Reuters report, India's Adani group holds a 51 per cent stake. It may be noted that India and the US are working together closely at a time when Chinese military and economic footprints are increasing rapidly in both south and south-east Asia.

On the forthcoming bilateral 2+2 Dialogue with the US, New Delhi on Wednesday said, "The ministers will take the opportunity to progress the futuristic roadmap for the India-US partnership as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden, in their discussions in June and September this year. Both sides will also take stock of contemporary regional issues and exchange views about shared priorities for augmenting cooperation in multilateral platforms, and through frameworks such as Quad. The 'Raksha Mantri' (defense minister) and EAM are also scheduled to have bilateral meetings with their respective U.S. counterparts, which will mark a continuity of Ministerial Dialogue and reaffirm the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic partnership."

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