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US diplomat Ely Ratner to visit India to hold 22, maritime security dialogue

Washington [US], September 6 (ANI): US Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner will depart for a visit to India this week to attend the sixth US-India 22 Intersessional Dialogue as well as the Maritime Security Dialogue.

To deepen the United States’ cooperation with its key Indo-Pacific partners, Ratner will also travel to Vietnam during the visit.

Upon arriving in India, Assistant Secretary Ratner will co-chair the sixth US-India 22 Intersessional Dialogue as well as the Maritime Security Dialogue alongside Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, an official statement from the US Department of Defence read.

Ratner will be joined by Principal Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Mission Capabilities, Research and Engineering, Terry Emmert; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, Acquisition and Sustainment, Michael Vaccaro; Rear Admiral Tom Moninger of the Office of Naval Operations; and representatives from the United States Indo-Pacific Command.

Through these dialogues, the United States and India will advance an ambitious set of initiatives across the defence partnership ahead of the 22 ministerial next year, including in support of information-sharing, logistics, technology, and high-end navy cooperation, the release added.

The delegation will meet with senior Indian officials to discuss how the United States and India can expand cooperation to support a free, open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific region where human rights are respected.

From there, Assistant Secretary Ratner will travel to Hanoi to lead the US-Vietnam Defense Policy Dialogue as the United States takes important steps toward expanding the breadth and depth of the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam.

Notably, India is the centrepiece of the Joe Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy – Indian Foreign and Defence Ministers recently held the ’22’ meeting with their American counterparts.

India-US bilateral partnership today encompasses a whole host of issues including the response to Covid-19, economic recovery post-pandemic, the climate crisis and sustainable development, critical and emerging technologies, supply chain resilience, education, the diaspora, and defence and security.

The breadth and depth of Indo-US ties remain unmatched and the drivers of this partnership have been growing at an unprecedented rate.

The relationship remains unique insofar as this is driven at both levels: at the strategic elite as well as at the people-to-people level.

Although India and the US have quite contradictory responses to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, in the recent meeting, the Prime Minister and the US President expressed that the world’s two major democracies are willing to work around their divergences to arrive at mutually acceptable outcomes.

India and the US have underscored their commitment to continue building on recent years’ momentum and not lose sight of the larger strategic picture.

The defence partnership between India and the US continues to multiply with the US secretary of defence underlining that the two nations have “identified new opportunities to extend the operational reach of our militaries and to coordinate more closely together across the expanse of the Indo-Pacific.”The US also pointedly mentioned that China was constructing “dual-use infrastructure” along the border with India and that it would “continue to stand alongside” India to defend its sovereign interest. (ANI)

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