Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the US Defence Department, Randall G. Schriver and moderator Ashley J. Tellis
Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the US Defence Department, Randall G. Schriver and moderator Ashley J. Tellis

'2+2 dialogue to enhance India, US ties'

ANI | Updated: Aug 30, 2018 00:55 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 29 (ANI): Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the US Defence Department, Randall G. Schriver has said that the upcoming inaugural 2+2 dialogue, which is slated to be held next month, would advance the bilateral ties between India and the US.
He added that the dialogue would also help to facilitate the strategic partnership between the two nations to the next level.
In a conversation with Ashley J. Tellis at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace here, Schriver stated that regional and strategic issues would be discussed during the meeting and "will have some real outcomes".
Elucidating on the topic of discussions in the 2+2 dialogue, Schriver added, "This will be a historic meeting and it assumes significance. We will have a combination of strategic and high-level dialogues and I am confident that it could led to concrete and tangible outcomes. Concrete areas include enabling defence and security agreements, expanding the scope of our exercises, augmenting the 2+2 dialogue further and elevation of India to Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status, which is an important outcome and an enabler for trade and technology cooperation."
He further stated that there would be talks on Afghanistan, the US's approach to South-East Asia and other aspects in promoting free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Last week, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells had said that the 2+2 dialogue would serve as an important opportunity to enhance the relations between the two countries while adding that deliberations on operationalising India as a major defence partner would be held in the meeting.
After getting deferred twice, the first India-US 2+2 dialogue is scheduled to take place in New Delhi on September 6. Notably, the high-level meeting will take place between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with their American counterparts US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis.
The 2+2 meeting would cover a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues of shared interest, with a view to strengthen security ties between the two nations.
Meanwhile, Schriver underscored that Washington's Indo-Pacific strategy is affirmative and is not targeted towards the sovereignty of any country in the region.
"We have begun to publicly articulate the aspects of Indo-Pacific strategy. Our belief is that we are promoting an assertive vision for the region. It is not necessary to counter anyone. It is really affirming and promoting principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific," he said.
Schriver added, "There are threats such as erosion of sovereignty, intimidation, and pervasion or through military means. We do not seek influence of control of anybody's territory. If countries have their own sovereignty, they have the control and ability to protect that."
When quizzed as to how India fits into the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, he further said, "Our goal is to operationalise the strategy of the convergence that already exists between the US and India." (ANI)

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