New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a bilateral meeting in Tokyo Tuesday and discussed issues concerning “peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific”.
The meeting, held on the margins of the US-India-Australia-Japan Quadrilateral Consultations in Tokyo, comes even as the India-China border stand-off continues in Ladakh.
“Pleased to see the progress of our partnership in so many fields. Will work together for stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.
The meeting was held amid a downturn in both New Delhi and Washington’s bilateral relationship with Beijing. This was Jaishankar and Pompeo’s first in-person meeting since the Covid-19 lockdown kicked in this March. They have, however, spoken to each other over the phone several times.
“Productive meeting today with Indian Minister of External Affairs @DrSJaishankar. Together we are advancing U.S.-India relations, combatting COVID-19, and ensuring a secure and prosperous #IndoPacific for all,” said Pompeo in a tweet.
According to the Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department, Cale Brown, Jaishankar and Pompeo discussed ongoing bilateral and multilateral cooperation on topics of international concern.
“They reaffirmed the strength of the United States-India relationship, reviewed our efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, and asserted the need to work together to advance peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe,” Brown said.
He added, “The secretary and the minister agreed to continue close cooperation on a full range of regional and international issues and look forward to the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year.”
The 2+2 talks are expected to take place later this month in New Delhi even as both sides are gearing up to sign the much-awaited Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which will enable India to avail of US expertise on geospatial intelligence and sharpen the accuracy of weapons and automated hardware systems used for military purposes.