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India, US to review bilateral ties, key global issues at '2+2' Dialogue

India and the United States will review their bilateral defence and security cooperation and exchange views on the conflict in West Asia during the upcoming 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi on Friday.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will host their United States counterparts, Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken, in New Delhi for the fifth 2+2 dialogue. The two sides will assess contemporary regional issues and discuss shared priorities for enhancing cooperation within multilateral platforms, as well as through frameworks such as the Quad, as stated by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The India-US 2+2 dialogue is taking place amid Israel’s continued airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in retaliation to the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.

New Delhi was quick to condemn the terror attacks on Israel.

But as the Israel Defence Force started its retaliatory offensive on the Gaza Strip, India also expressed concern over the death of civilians, including children and women, stressing the need for adherence to international laws, and sent humanitarian aid to the Egyptian Red Crescent for onward transportation to Palestinians in distress.

India last month refrained from supporting a United Nations resolution that called for a humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas and instead chose to abstain from voting at the United Nations General Assembly.

The resolution was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with 120 nations voting in favour. Israel and the United States were among the 14 nations that voted against it. India, along with 44 other nations, including Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom, chose to abstain from voting on the resolution. The resolution was put forward by Jordan on behalf of the Arab nations, with co-sponsorship from Russia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. France, Iran, and China were among the nations that voted in favor of the resolution.

Jaishankar and Blinken, the US Secretary of State, are likely to exchange views on the West Asia conflict in a bilateral meeting they are expected to hold on the sideline of the 2+2 dialogue.

During the meeting, they are also likely to discuss Ottawa’s allegations regarding India’s involvement in the killing of a Khalistani Sikh advocate in a gurdwara located in Canada’s British Columbia province. The US has urged India to join the probe launched by Canada. New Delhi, however, recently rejected the investigation as ‘tainted’, thus subtly rejecting the call from the US.

“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 Joseph Biden, in their discussions in June and September this year,” the MEA said in New Delhi on Wednesday. “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.”

(Published 08 November 2023, 09:43 IST)

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