India, US commit to free & open Indo-Pacific at 2+2 Dialogue

India and the United States have reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific following the fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in Washington.

India and the US held the 2+2 ministerial meeting in Washington with the Indian side led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the American side led by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on April 11.

"The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states are respected, and countries are free from military, economic, and political coercion," underlined the joint statement.

They further reaffirmed their dedication to promoting regional stability and prosperity, with an inclusive regional architecture, abiding by the rule of law, the freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, and ASEAN centrality.

The ministers also reiterated the importance of adherence to international law to meet challenges to the rules-based order, including in the South China Sea, the statement said.

The Ministers welcomed the progress made in the last year on developing a "positive and constructive agenda" for the Quad to deliver peace and prosperity to the region in pursuance of their shared vision for a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

The United States has conveyed its full support to India's upcoming G20 Presidency, starting December 1 this year till November 2023.

Earlier, responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha on the manner in which India is preparing to assume the responsibility of the Presidency of G20 this year in December, the Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh had elaborated upon the role of India as the G-20 Presidency and responsibilities and power the position would bring for the country.

"As the G20 Presidency, India will set the agenda for the year, identify the themes and focus areas, conduct discussions and work out outcome documents. The G20 Secretariat will be responsible for a smooth transition from the previous Presidency, preparations and conduct," the Minister of State had said.

(ANI)

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