Foreign Secretary Shringla holds talks with US Dy Secretary of State Biegun

New Delhi, Oct 13 (PTI) Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday held talks with US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun on a wide range of bilateral issues and ways to further deepen cooperation in key areas.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said ways to strengthen cooperation in the United Nations, especially during India’s membership of the UN Security Council for the period 2021-2022, also figured in the talks.

Biegun arrived here on Monday on a three-day visit primarily to finalise the groundwork for the third edition of two-plus-two dialogue between the two countries later this month.

“FS @harshvshringla & US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun reviewed status & progress of our diverse & growing bilateral relationship. They discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in the UN, especially during India’s membership of the UNSC for the period 2021-2022,” Srivastava tweeted.

He said convergence and shared interests between India and US were highlighted in the talks and both sides reiterated their commitment to the comprehensive global strategic partnership.

The US embassy here in a tweet said Shringla and Biegun also deliberated on the upcoming two-plus-two ministerial dialogue as well as? on expanding partnership in support? of a ?peaceful and prosperous? Indo-Pacific.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Biegun held talks on Monday during which the common vision of the two countries for the Indo-Pacific region figured.

The third edition of the two-plus-two dialogue between India and the US is expected to take place on October 26 and 27 here during which both sides are likely to carry out a comprehensive review of their strategic cooperation.

US Secretary of State Pompeo and Defence Secretary Defence Secretary Mark Esper are scheduled to visit India for the dialogue.

The Indian side at the talks will be represented by Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The first two-plus-two dialogue was held in Delhi in September 2018 after the mechanism was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump.

The second edition of the dialogue took place in Washington in December last year.

The new framework of the ministerial dialogue was initiated in order to provide a forward-looking vision for the strategic partnership between the two countries.

In the third edition of talks, both sides are also expected to delve into the situation in the Indo-Pacific region as well as in India’s neighbourhood besides key bilateral issues.