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India, U.S. hold first maritime security dialogue

Towards deepening the evolving partnership in the maritime domain, India and the U.S. held the first round of discussions under the recently-constituted maritime security dialogue between officials of Defence and External Affairs ministries and their U.S. counterparts.

“Among the issues discussed were Asia-Pacific maritime challenges, naval cooperation, and multilateral engagement,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement on Monday.

The dialogue was one of the several new initiatives agreed between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his U.S. counterpart Ashton Carter during the latter’s visit to India last month as part of the maritime security objectives under the India-US Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region.

Exploring opportunities

“They also agreed to launch a bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue, co-chaired by officials at the Joint Secretary/Assistant Secretary-level of the Indian Ministries of Defence and External Affairs and the U.S. Departments of Defence and State,” the joint statement issued at the end of the visit had stated.

A senior official told The Hindu ahead of the discussions that being the first dialogue both sides are looking to explore the scope of maritime cooperation under the framework of this maritime dialogue at the bilateral and multilateral level to be taken up.

U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, who participated in the discussions, noted that the creation of this dialogue “is a further sign of the growing relations between our two countries.”

The other initiatives agreed include the conclusion of a “white shipping” technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic and Navy-to-Navy discussions on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 11:09:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-us-hold-first-maritime-security-dialogue/article8608442.ece

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