Washington/New Delhi: The India-US joint statement on the 2+2 talks has a small paragraph on Ukraine and significantly does not mention Russia, though in their media remarks the US side did mention Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine.
The joint statement, issued after talks between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and their US counterparts Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said the four ministers “reviewed mutual efforts to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications.
“They urged an immediate cessation of hostilities. The Ministers unequivocally condemned civilian deaths. They underscored that the contemporary global order has been built on the UN Charter, respect for international law, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.”
US President Joe Biden in his virtual meeting with PM Modi on Monday had mentioned that the “United States and India are going to continue our close consultation on how to manage the destabilizing effects of this Russian war.” On the Quad, the ministers of the two sides said they looked forward to the next Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo in 2022, which President Biden revealed would be held on May 24 in Japan.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific in which the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states are respected, and countries are free from military, economic, and political coercion.
They also reiterated the importance of adherence to international law to meet challenges to the rules-based order, including in the South China Sea, the joint statement said. They welcomed the remarkable progress made under the Quad Vaccine Partnership to augment the manufacturing capacity of the Biological E facility in India, supported by the U.S.
International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and committed to expedite delivery of the first batch of vaccines to countries of the Indo-Pacific and beyond. Following up on the October 2021 virtual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, the Ministers welcomed the opportunity to enhance engagement in this forum on shared priorities such as food security, clean energy, waste management, and infrastructure development, it said.
The Ministers reiterated their commitment to work together in close coordination at the UNSC and in international organizations. The United States reaffirmed its continued support for India’s permanent membership in a reformed UNSC and for India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group. Considering growing national security threats from both state and non-state malicious cyber actors, the Ministers recognized the importance of an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet and stable cyberspace.
They confirmed their intent to work closely as part of ongoing efforts to counter the use of information communications technologies for criminal purposes.
The Ministers called on the Taliban to abide by UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021), which demands that Afghan territory must never again be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist attacks.
They recommitted to close consultations on Afghanistan to help facilitate an inclusive and peaceful future for all Afghans. The Ministers called for the cessation of violence in Myanmar, the release of all those arbitrarily detained, and a swift return to the path of democracy and inclusive governance.
They also called for urgent implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and India’s Development Partnership Administration (DPA) have decided to expand triangular development activity with third countries, for greater cooperation to address global development challenges around the world, including in Asia and Africa.
The United States appreciated the opportunity for USAID to co-chair the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)’s Governing Council. Both sides reaffirmed plans to collaborate through CDRI in supporting countries most impacted by natural disasters, including those resulting from climate change.
India welcomed the United States’ signing of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and looked forward to supporting projects to expand the availability of reliable and affordable solar power including the $500 million investment by the DFC in First Solar’s facility to produce solar panels in India.
The United States conveyed its full support to India’s upcoming G20 Presidency from December 2022 to November 2023. In this context, the Ministers reiterated their commitment to work closely on international security, social, and economic issues of global interest and impact.