iNDICA News Bureau-
Notwithstanding its irritation at India’s steadfast refusal to criticize long-time ally Russia for invading Ukraine, Washington has reiterated its commitment to work in close coordination with New Delhi at the U.N. Security Council and in other international organizations.
At the fourth 2+2 ministerial dialogue that began in the U.S. capital April 11 between Secretary of State Antony J Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin III on the one hand and India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the other, the hosts congratulated India for its “significant contributions” as a member of the U.N. Security Council in 2021-22 and appreciated its leadership of three committees of the council: the 1988 Taliban Sanctions Committee, the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee and the 1373 Counter Terrorism Committee.
The U.S. also reaffirmed its continued support for India’s permanent membership in a reformed UNSC and for India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and conveyed its full support to India’s upcoming G20 presidency from December 2022 to November 2023. In this context, the ministers also reiterated their commitment to work closely on international security and social and economic issues of global interest and impact.
Considering the growing national security threats from state and non-state malicious cyber actors, the ministers recognized the importance of an open, interoperable, secure and reliable internet and stable cyberspace.
Both sides reaffirmed the 2021 reports of the U.N. Open-Ended Working Group and the U.N. Group of Governmental Experts, which articulate a framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace and committed to work together in future multilateral negotiations to encourage states to implement the framework.
They confirmed their intent to work closely as part of efforts to counter the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.
Acknowledging India’s distinguished history of leading peacekeeping missions, the U.S. welcomed its commitment to participate in multilateral peacekeeping training in 2022, expand joint capacity-building efforts with third-country partners, and launch a new joint National Investigation Officers Training of Trainers course in partnership with the U.N.
The ministers called on the Taliban to abide by UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021), which demands that Afghan territory must never again be used to threaten or attack any country or shelter or train terrorists or to plan or finance terrorist attacks.
They also urged the Taliban to adhere to all other commitments made by them; respect the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and members of minority groups; and uphold freedom of travel.
They emphasized the importance of an inclusive Afghan government and unhindered access for the U.N. and its implementing partners to deliver humanitarian assistance, and committed their countries to close consultation to help facilitate an inclusive and peaceful future for all Afghans.
The ministers called for a cessation of violence in Myanmar, the release of all those arbitrarily detained and a swift return to the path of democracy and inclusive governance. They also called for urgent implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus.
The ministers recalled U.S. and Indian initiatives announced during the first Summit for Democracy and looked forward to furthering cooperation in the current Year of Action ahead of the next summit.
Early this year in March they welcomed Foreign Office Consultations and said closer regional and multilateral coordination is integral to the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. Both sides look forward to reconvening the Global Issues Forum to exchange perspectives on issues of mutual interest.