Context- The Indian Defence Minister and External Affairs Minister met their counterparts from
the US government, for the fifth 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
- The 2+2 meetings have been held annually with the US leaders since 2018.
- The discussions in the ‘2+2’ dialogue encompassed various topics, including counterterrorism, and explored avenues for advancing cooperation in cutting-edge technologies
like semiconductors and critical minerals.
What are 2+2 meetings?
- The 2+2 meetings signify the participation of two high-level representatives, Ministers
holding Foreign and Defence portfolios, from each of the two countries who aim to
enhance the scope of dialogue between them.
- Having such a mechanism enables the partners to better understand and appreciate
each other’s strategic concerns and sensitivities taking into account political factors on
both sides, in order to build a stronger, more integrated strategic relationship.
- India has held 2+2 meetings with ministers from Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom
Overview of India and US Bilateral Relations
- Since India’s independence, ties with the United States have weathered the Cold War–
era distrust and estrangement over India’s nuclear program.
- Relations have warmed in recent years and cooperation has strengthened across a range
of economic and political areas.
- Bilateral Trade: The bilateral trade between the two countries has risen by 72 percent
between 2017-18 and 2022-23.
- The US accounted for 18 percent of the gross FDI inflows into India during 2021-22,
ranking second behind Singapore.
- Defense and Security: India and the US have signed a troika of “foundational pacts” for
deep military cooperation, beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of
Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, followed by the Communications Compatibility and
Security Agreement (COMCASA) after the first 2+2 dialogue in 2018, and then the Basic
Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in 2020.
- In 2016, the United States elevated India to a major defense partner, a status no other
- Space: Artemis Accords signed by India established a common vision for the future of
space exploration for the benefit of all humankind.
- The United States and India cooperate through the bilateral Civil Space Joint Working
- Multilateral Cooperation: India and the United States cooperate closely in multilateral
organizations and for a, including the United Nations, G20, Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN)-related for a, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and
World Trade Organization.
- Together with Australia and Japan, the United States and India convene as the Quad, a
diplomatic network, to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- Nuclear Cooperation: Civil Nuclear Deal was signed in 2005, under the agreement, India
agrees to separate its civil and military nuclear facilities and place all its civil resources
under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. In exchange, the United
States agrees to work toward full civil nuclear cooperation with India.
- India’s preference to its strategic autonomy: While its embrace with the U.S. is getting
stronger, deeper and more comprehensive, India is also cognisant of the need to
maintain its strategic autonomy.
- Conflicting positions: India’s muted criticism of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022
expectedly led to some frustration in the West, raising questions over India’s credibility
as a security partner.
- Defence Relations with Russia: The United States has expressed particular concern
regarding new streams of arms like the S-400 air defense system, because they fuel
Russian power, diminish prospects for interoperability of and secure communications
between U.S. and Indian forces, and preclude sharing of existing sensitive weapons