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India, US to sign space MOU during 2+2 meeting Monday

But before the 2+2 meeting, President Joe Biden will hold a virtual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at which the Russian invasion of Ukraine will figure, according to the White House

Arul Louis Apr 11, 2022
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India, US to sign space MOU during 2+2 meeting Monday (Photo: Twitter)

A pact to share information on their space activities is to be signed by the US and India during the 2+2 meeting of their diplomatic and defence leaders in Washington on Monday, according to the State Department. The Space Situational Awareness Memorandum of Understanding aims to protect the satellites of the two countries.

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin for the Fourth 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue that will finally take place after being postponed from December.This year’s event will celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations between India and the US, the State Department said.

The 2+2 meeting takes place under the cloud of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the divergent approach to it by India and the US.

But before the 2+2 meeting, President Joe Biden will hold a virtual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at which the Russian invasion of Ukraine will figure, according to the White House.

Biden’s Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “President Biden will continue our close consultations on the consequences of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating its destabilizing impact on global food supply and commodity markets”.

India has tried to stay neutral on the Russian invasion given its dependence on Moscow for vital defence supplies and abstained on eight Ukraine-related votes at the United Nations.

The US, which is leading the global response to the invasion prefers India to take a stronger stand against Russia.

But the 2+2 will focus on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, where the two countries are strategically more aligned.

The formal 2+2 meeting of the ministers and the secretaries will be held at the State Department with the opening press statements that will be live-streamed on www.state.gov at 2 pm (11:30 pm in India).

It will be followed by the signing of the Space Situational Awareness  MOU.

The four are scheduled to hold a news conference at 4:45 pm (2:15 am Indian time), which is also to be live-streamed.

Concluding the 2+2 meeting, Blinken will hold a working dinner for the other 2+2 leaders at 6 pm (3:30 am).

The 2+2 meetings held since 2018 alternate between the two capitals and its fourth edition, which was to have been held in December, was postponed because of the visit of Russian President Vladimir to New Delhi that month.

(SAM)

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