India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale held virtual Foreign Office Consultations on Tuesday.
According to India’s Foreign Office, the two officials reviewed the entire gamut of engagements under the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, including political, economic, commercial, regional and international cooperation.
On the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, they agreed to further strengthen the bilateral health partnership, including on pharmaceuticals and vaccine development. They also discussed ways to further enhance mutually beneficial trade and people-to-people ties, including through visa facilitation for students and professionals.
Foreign Secretary Shringla and Under Secretary Hale exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues of shared interest, according to the Foreign Office.
As such, the two officials reaffirmed their commitment to work towards ensuring a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific, as well as agreeing 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.
Finally, the two 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.