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New Delhi, July 7, 2020
India and the United States today held virtual Foreign Office Consultations during which they reviewed the entire gamut of engagements under their Comprehensive Global Strategic Partenrship, including political, economic, commercial, regional and international cooperation.
The talks were led by Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said that, in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides agreed to further strengthen the bilateral health partnership, including on pharmaceuticals and vaccine development. They discussed ways to further enhance mutually beneficial trade and people-to-people ties, including through visa facilitation for students and professionals.
Foreign Secretary Shringla and Under Secretary Hale exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues of shared interest. They reaffirmed their commitment to work towards ensuring a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific. They agreed on the need to deepen cooperation in the United Nations, especially during India's membership of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2021-2022.
They agreed to remain in touch and move forward on the bilateral agenda through a range of mechanisms like the 2+2 Ministerial that India will host later this year, the release said.
In Washington, a press release from the Department of State said the discussions included ongoing threats to the rules-based international order, bilateral and multilateral diplomatic cooperation, maritime security, and the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Under Secretary Hale and Foreign Secretary Shringla agreed to consult closely on all challenges and endeavor to support each other’s objectives. They also agreed that the U.S.-India health partnership, including cooperation on pharmaceutical and vaccine development, will continue to play a critical role in the world’s recovery from COVID-19.
"In addition, Under Secretary Hale and Foreign Secretary Shringla affirmed the U.S. and Indian visions of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where all countries can prosper, and agreed to work with other Indo-Pacific partners to bring these visions to reality.
"Both officials look forward to this year’s U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and pledged to remain in close contact on regional and international issues of mutual concern," the release added.