External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that strategic partnerships like the one between India and the US are built through shared interests, common values and constant nurturing, underlining that in a changing world Indo-US ties have not only kept pace but actually emerged as a major contributor to global peace.
Jaishankar said this on Monday during a joint press conference along with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and their American counterparts Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
"Strategic partnerships like those between India and the United States are built through shared interests, common values, and constant nurturing. It is natural that each of us will bring to the relationship our particular perspectives, experiences and priorities," Jaishankar said.
"But when there is a mutual appreciation of the significance of our ties, there is also a desire to better understand each other's thinking. Our dialogue today, I believe, has helped in that regard," he said at the conclusion of the fourth 2+2 ministerial.
"The integrated perspective that we brought to bear in this 2+2 format only underlines the gains made in different domains in recent times. The economic side of the story is particularly significant," he said.
Both trade and investment are steadily growing, he noted.
"We have had discussions today on both of them as also on connectivity, infrastructure, digital issues, climate action, and energy. Our shared activities in space, science and technology, and health are also noteworthy. We see our cooperation as having a larger relevance for the Indo-Pacific," he said.
The bedrock of this relationship, he asserted, is its human element.
"It could be the students who come to universities, the flow of talent that defines our knowledge partnership, or indeed the technology and business relationships which promote innovation," he said, adding that they are all examples of the human bridge that connects the two societies so uniquely.
"In a changing world, India-US ties have not only kept pace but actually emerged as a major contributor to global peace, stability, and prosperity. This is not just the weight of our expanding partnership, but also the impact it makes on addressing global issues," Jaishankar said.
"Our vaccine cooperation can enhance its affordability and accessibility. Our B2B and G2G dealings can contribute to better connectivity and reliable supply chains. Our climate collaboration is underlined by the United States joining the International Solar Alliance and co-chairing the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure," he said.
Challenges in the Indo-Pacific have also been a particular focus of the discussions during the meeting.
Blinken told reporters that the two countries are increasing people-to-people ties, which are really at the heart of the entire relationship.
"We're very lucky in the United States to be home to some 4 million Indian-Americans as well as 200,000 Indians studying in our universities. We have a working group on education and skill training that we formed today that will increase that number by bringing institutions in the United States and India together to develop new joint research and exchange programmes. We look forward to welcoming more Indian students and scholars into our communities. We're focusing, among other things, on STEM education. I think this is an area of tremendous potential going forward," he said.
STEM stands for Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.