India,U.S. discuss ways to strengthen bilateral maritime cooperation

Rohe Island [U.S.], May 11 : India and the United States held the second round of the India-U.S. Maritime Security Dialogue on May 9 and 10 in Newport, Rhode Island, to seek ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in defence in the Asia-Pacific region.

During the dialogue, both sides exchanged views on maritime developments in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and considered steps to further strengthen bilateral maritime security cooperation.

Top officials of both countries also reviewed the implementation of decisions taken at the first Maritime Security Dialogue held in May 2016 on securing the global waterways and steps undertaken to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two navies.

Maritime cooperation between the two countries was pushed by former U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who visited New Delhi to bolster the strategic relationship keeping in view of China's increasing military presence in the South China Sea.

The Indian delegation was led jointly by Dr. Pankaj Sharma, Joint Secretary (D (and) ISA), Munu Mahawar, Joint Secretary (AMS), Ministry of External Affairs and Devika Raghuvanshi, Joint Secretary (Navy), Ministry of Defence.

Mr. David Helvey, performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and Mr.

Sean Stein, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs led the American delegation at the talks.

The next Dialogue will be held in India on mutually convenient dates, a MInistry of External Affairs release said.

Source: ANI