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India, US reaffirm to work towards free, open, prosperous Indo-Pacific

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale on Tuesday exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues of shared interests on Tuesday during the virtual foreign office consultations between the two countries.

“They reaffirmed their commitment to work towards ensuring a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific. They agreed on the need to deepen cooperation in the United Nations, especially during India’s membership of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2021-2022,” an External Affairs Ministry release said.

The two senior officials reviewed the entire gamut of engagements under the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, including political, economic, commercial, regional and international cooperation.

In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, they agreed to further strengthen the bilateral health partnership, including on pharmaceuticals and vaccine development.

They agreed to remain in touch and move forward on the bilateral agenda through a range of mechanisms like the 2+2 ministerial that India will host later this year.

Shringla and Hale discussed ways to further enhance mutually beneficial trade and people-to-people ties, including through visa facilitation for students and professionals.

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