With a focus on deepening their growing partnership in the maritime domain, India and the US held the first round of discussions under the newly constituted maritime security dialogue.
The dialogue was held between officials of the Defence and External Affairs ministries and their US counterparts.
“Among the issues discussed were Asia-Pacific maritime challenges, naval cooperation, and multilateral engagement”, the US Embassy said in a statement on May 16.
During US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit to India and his meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in April, the maritime security dialogue was one of the several new initiatives agreed between India and the US. The initiative was agreed on as part of the maritime security objectives under the India-US Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region.
The US Envoy to India Richard Verma, who also participated in the discussions, said that the creation of the maritime security dialogue is a sign of growing relations between the two countries. India and the US also agreed to include the conclusion of a white-shipping technical arrangement that would help in improving data on commercial shipping traffic.
Growing geopolitical tensions in the Asia-Pacifc region in recent times have brought the US and India closer towards enhancing maritime cooperation in the region. The two countries had come out with a joint strategic vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in January 2015.
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