Home India Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra Discusses India-US Ties During US Visit

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra Discusses India-US Ties During US Visit

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra meets with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. Source: X

A review of India-US ties was undertaken as foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra arrived in Washington for a two-day official visit from April 10-12.

According to a release from the Indian embassy in Washington, the foreign secretary had during his visit held discussions  with his counterparts from the State Department, Deputy Secretary Richard Verma and Deputy Secretary Kurt Campbell, as well as other senior officials.

Kwatra also held discussions with key counterpart officials at the National Security Council, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and Department of Energy. These discussions spanned the entire gamut of India-US ties, growing defence and commercial ties, supply chain resilience, and contemporary regional developments.

“Productive catch up with Indian Foreign Secretary Kwatra on advancing ongoing US-India cooperation and the need for our countries’ close partnership for regional security and prosperity,” Verma said in a post on X post the meeting.

Kwatra also met with US Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, who also wrote on X post the meeting that both sides took “stock of the historic major defense partnership between our countries. We’re continuing to expand our partnership in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

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India and the US are currently involved in several defence initiatives, such as the coproduction of fighter engines between GE and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force. Talks were also held on the ongoing progress of the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) an initiative which was started in June 2023.

According to a US Department of Defense release, the aim is to build a “defence innovation bridge” between the two countries under the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET). This will be done by “facilitating partnerships among U.S. and Indian defence companies of all sizes, incubators and accelerators, investors, and universities with the support of the U.S. and Indian governments.”

The Indian diplomat was also hosted by the US India Business Council (USIBC) where he held a breakfast meeting with Ed Knight, board chair and NASDAQ executive vice chairman. Post the meeting, USIBC tweeted on X. “USIBC was delighted to host Foreign Secretary @AmbVMKwatra for a breakfast meeting with our Board Chair and @Nasdaq Executive Vice Chairman Ed Knight. They engaged in discussions on deepening investment channels, fostering innovation and technology, and strengthening the commercial ties between our countries.”

Kwatra’s US visit comes a week ahead of US NSA Jake Sullivan’s visit to India next week. Sullivan, who recently stated at a press conference that the India-US partnership had reached “new heights” is expected to meet with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and others.  Widening India-US security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific is expected to be one of the key items on the agenda.