Updated February 9th, 2024 at 20:22 IST
India-US NSAs Doval & Sullivan to Tackle West Asia Crisis, Defence Pacts in Delhi Summit
The NSAs are likely to address Iran's involvement in various conflicts across the region, including in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza.
New Delhi: National Security Adviser Ajit Doval of India and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan will meet later this month in Delhi to discuss issues concerning West Asia and bilateral defence cooperation.
The talks are likely to be centred on the troubling situation in West Asia, particularly the actions of Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have been disrupting commercial shipping in the region. The recent conflict between Israel and Gaza will also be on the agenda.
Key topics include the transfer of US GE-414 engine technology to India and the acquisition of Predator MQ9B drones by the Indian armed forces. The US State Department has notified India about these deals, with commercial negotiations expected to begin soon.
Further as per earlier reports, the Indian government is addressing concerns raised by the US Congress regarding these agreements. The draft Letter of Acceptance for the Predator drones has been presented to Congress, with the final approval expected after a 30-day review period.
During Sullivan's visit, discussions will also likely to cover the Critical and Emerging Technology initiative and other matters of mutual interest. He is scheduled to meet with Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other senior officials.
A primary focus will be on the conflict in West Asia, including the targeting of commercial shipping by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. India has deployed naval assets to safeguard sea lanes and protect commercial vessels from potential threats.
The NSAs will also address Iran's involvement in various conflicts across the region, including in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. While Iran has denied prior knowledge of certain attacks, concerns remain about the activities of Iran-backed militias.
Additionally, discussions might also touch upon China's growing presence in the Indo-Pacific region and the challenges posed by terrorism originating from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Both sides will review cooperation in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and clean energy. The goal is to strengthen the strategic partnership between India and the United States.
Published February 9th, 2024 at 20:22 IST