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India, US Hold 2 Plus 2 Inter-Sessional Meet, Discuss ties, Regional Developments

India and the US on Friday held a bilateral 2+2 inter-sessional meeting at the official level during which the two sides exchanged views about regional developments and agreed to pursue their quest for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
At the meeting held virtually, the Indian delegation was led jointly by Vani Rao, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and Somnath Ghosh, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in the Ministry of Defence.

The US delegation was led jointly by Dean Thompson, Senior Bureau Official, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in the US Department of State, and David Helvey, Acting Assistant Secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs in the US Department of Defense.

Both sides reviewed the progress and developments in bilateral ties in defence, security, and foreign policy areas since the last 2+2 ministerial meeting held on December 18, 2019 in Washington DC, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

They explored opportunities for enhancing ongoing cooperation in these fields based on mutual interest, the MEA said.

"They also exchanged views about regional developments, and agreed to pursue their quest for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific," the statement said.

The inter-sessional meeting mechanism was set up pursuant to the 2+2 ministerial.

The two sides agreed to continue these discussions in the future, MEA said.

The meeting comes amid a border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh.

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