New Delhi, Sep 6: India on Thursday said the inaugural '2 Plus 2 Indo US Dialogue' has been "most productive, positive and purposeful" deliberations and that defence will be henceforth a key driver in the overall relationship.
Speaking at the end of the talks, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: " The defence cooperation has emerged as the most significant dimension of the strategic partnership between two sides". This will be also a "key driver of our overall bilateral relationship", she said.
"The momentum in defence partnership has given an immense positive energy that has elevated India-US relationship to unprecedented heights," she said and credited the two leaderships Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump for the same.
In this context, she referred to the remarks made by Mr Modi during his address to the US Congress that the relationship between the two countries has "overcome the hesitation of history". "Nowhere this is more true than the defence," she said.
To enhance the synergies in defence ties, Ms Sitharaman said: "We have decided to carry out for the first time a Tri-services joint exercise with the United States off the eastern coast of India in 2019".
"Our discussions were today marked by deep friendship that characterises the relations between two great democracies of the world," she said. “The commencement of first ever ministry of 2+2 between India & US is a concrete manifestation of the work vision of our leaders Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump to take the relationship to even higher trajectory,” she said.
"In today's meeting we reaffirmed our intention to cooperate in every possible way to ensure peace and stability," the Minister said. Both sides explored the "instrumentalities" necessary to deliver on the shared objectives of both the US and India.
India and the US will also put in place an 'enabling framework' for closer cooperation between the defence forces, the Minister added. (UNI)