India, US discuss Afghan peace process, Myanmar democratic crisis

India and the United States discussed ongoing peace and development process in Afghanistan and restoration of democracy in Myanmar. The United States Secretary of State Antony J Blinken spoke with Indian Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on April 19 to reaffirm the importance of the US-India relationship and cooperation on regional security issues. Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar agreed to close and frequent coordination in support of a lasting peace and development for the people of Afghanistan. They also reaffirmed their shared commitment to democratic values and mutual support for the restoration of democracy in Burma (Myanmar). Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar discussed US-India cooperation on climate change, Covid-19, and other global challenges and pledged to remain in close contact on these and other issues of mutual concern. Shared democratic values and growing convergence o bilateral, regional, and global issues have provided a strong base for India-U.S. relations, which have now evolved into a strategic partnership of global significance. The relationship enjoys strong bipartisan and popular support in both countries. Mutual visits at the leadership-level have been an integral element of the engagement between India and the US. The outcomes generated by these visits have been instrumental in further strengthening and developing the multifaceted ties between the two countries. Both the countries have more than 50 bilateral inter governmental dialogue mechanisms for exchange of views on issues of mutual interest. Defence relationship has emerged as a major pillar of India-US strategic partnership with intensification in defence trade, joint exercises, personnel exchanges, and cooperation in maritime security and counter-piracy. India conducts more bilateral exercises with the US than with any other country. Some important bilateral exercises are: Yudh Abhyas, Vajra Prahar, Tarkash, Tiger Triumph, and Cope India. Aggregate worth of defence-related acquisitions from the US is more than US$ 15 billion.

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