Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 27
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in their several public statements on Tuesday, indicated that the purpose of the Indo-US 2+2 went beyond the China threat.
“In an uncertain world with greater stresses and sharper faultlines, it is in the interest of major countries like India and the US to give security a greater salience in their foreign policy, said Jaishankar.
Moreover, the ability of India and the US to work closely in defence and foreign policy had a larger resonance at a time when it was particularly important to uphold a rules-based international order, he added.
Asked if the meeting, convened weeks before the US Presidential elections, was spurred by the China factor, Jaishankar pointed out that the previous two rounds were also held around the same time. The real factor was that there was growth in relationships in every domain.
“It has been very, very remarkable in the last 20 years, but especially in the last few years. It serves both our interests but Indo-US collaboration can be a force of good. It is truly global, comprehensive and strategic,” Jaishankar noted.
Pompeo in his remarks began by assailing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which is “no friend to democracy, rule of law, transparency and a prosperous India Pacific”.
Dwelling on his trip in the morning to the martyr’s memorial, he pointedly noted that he paid respects to all those who had laid their lives including “the 20 who died in the Galwan Valley” to defend the world’s largest democracy.
But he corrected to observe that “all threats are not posed just by the CCP”.
The two nations will also work to meet the region’s infrastructure needs.
The US strongly supported the “Blue Dot” initiative that will check against mega infra projects becoming environmentally unsustainable or debts traps. The newly created US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has set up a liaison office in India.
“This will set the stage for more economic work together,” he said.
Shifting the focus from security issues, Pompeo said the joint Indo-US effort to fight the pandemic had sent a “strong signal that the two nations are committed to working together and expanding the partnership across all fronts”.
“The US valued India as a multilateral partner ranging from Quad to settling the Afghan problem and supporting its candidature as a permanent member of the UNSC,” he said.
The range of areas in which both sides are working together is “reflective” of the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, said Jaishankar.
The two Ministers said they were also committed to shaping more trusted and resilient global supply chains.
“Together, we can make a real difference when it comes to regional and global challenges, whether it is in respecting territorial integrity, promoting maritime domain awareness, counterterrorism, or creating prosperity,” Pompeo said.