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Foreign and defence chiefs from India, US convene for second 2+2 dialogue

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Foreign and defence chiefs from India, US convene for second 2+2 dialogue

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Photo: Jacquelyn Martin

The foreign and defence ministers of the US and India will hold high-level talks in Washington DC today as part of the ‘2+2 Dialogue’.

The inaugural meeting in September 2018 yielded hotlines between US and Indian officials and defence partnership agreements like the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which facilitates access to advanced military systems.

Today’s meeting will likely reinforce the emerging strategic relationship between the two countries in an increasingly contested Indo-Pacific region. The Pentagon approved the sale of advanced MK-45 naval gun systems to India last month, enhancing India’s naval capabilities and increasing interoperability with US forces. Expect today’s dialogue to result in announcements on the MK-45 weapons, MH-60R helicopters and other systems sought by New Delhi.

The US sees India as a key partner in maintaining a balance of power in the Indo-Pacific, where a rising China has expanded its regional role.

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Although issues like trade imbalances and Indian policies in Kashmir risk undermining US-Indian relations, the trend towards strategic cooperation will continue as the two countries begin jointly developing technology and defining a shared vision of security in the region.

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