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Source: Government of India

Raksha Mantriji, Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Esper, Dear Colleagues,

​It is a great pleasure to welcome the American delegation to India for the Third 2+2 Meeting between us.

​As Foreign Minister, I attach great importance to this particular format of our interaction for three reasons:

First, we live in a more uncertain world with much greater stresses and sharper faultlines. For most countries, that means giving security a greater salience in their foreign policy. As major powers, this is even more so in our case.

Second, over the last two decades, our bilateral relationship has grown steadily in its substance, facets and significance. The accompanying comfort levels today enable us to engage much more intensively on matters of national security. This format is clearly tailored to that purpose.

Third, at a time when it is particularly important to uphold a rules-based international order, the ability of India and the US to work closely in defence and foreign policy has a larger resonance. Together, we can make a real difference when it comes to regional and global challenges, whether it is in respecting territorial integrity, promoting maritime domain awareness, countering terrorism or ensuring prosperity.

I am therefore looking forward to our discussions today. I am sure that they will be very productive and fruitful.