On his three-day visit to India, Deputy Secretary of the US, Stephen E Biegun, met with senior government officials ahead of the US-India two-plus-two ministerial dialogue which will be held later this year. At an India-US forum, Deputy Secretary Biegun joined Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla in highlighting the importance of US-India partnership, mainly in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The Deputy Secretary emphasised the work of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) - an informal strategic forum of the US, Japan, Australia, and India - toward a region protected and made prosperous in equal measure by strong and peaceful nations in the Indo-Pacific, said a release on Wednesday.
Deputy Secretary Biegun also highlighted the enhanced cooperation among the Quad toward creating resilient supply chains, promoting transparency, and increasing maritime security in the region. These topics were most recently discussed in the October 6 meeting of foreign ministers which was attended by Secretary of State Pompeo.
During his visit to India from October 12, Stephen E Biegun met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla, and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and discussed America’s efforts to work with India and compatible partners on a range of issues, including regional security, economic cooperation, and coordinated efforts to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pleased to meet US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. Useful exchange of views on world politics and regional issues. Appreciated the steady progress of our bilateral cooperation. Confident that our Strategic Partnership would continue to deepen. pic.twitter.com/PrnRMo90fC— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) October 12, 2020
While in New Delhi, Deputy Secretary Biegun also met with Bhutan’s Ambassador to India, Major General Vetsop Namgyel to reaffirm the United States' close relationship with the people of Bhutan.
(With inputs from agency)