Biegun in India: US to seek more inputs from India on its neighbours
New Delhi, Oct 14: US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun sought from India inputs on its neighbourhood. This came up during his meeting with foreign secretary Harsh Shringla.
Biegun and Shringla discussed ways to strengthen QUAD security and the former sought India's inputs on its neighbourhood.
Officials familiar with the developments tell OneIndia that both discussed a range of issues that included, framework for investments, building supply chains and also ways to help the Indian subcontinent in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However a key takeaway from the meeting was India encouraging the US to engage more with Bangladesh. While former US secretaries have shown their intention to visit Bangladesh, those visits did not materialise.
India has told the US that Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina has been rising economically and also has taken a turn away from a radical approach that prevailed under the leadership of Khaleda Zia.
This is an important development considering that China has made inroads into Bangladesh and the latter has purchased over 80 per cent of its military hardware from Beijing. These include artillery guns and ammunition.
Biegun visited New Delhi between October 12 and 14. A note prior to his visit had said building on Secretary Pompeo's October 6 meeting with Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar and ahead of the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year, Deputy Secretary Biegun's engagements in India will focus on advancing the United States-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and how the United States and India can work together to advance peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe.
From October 14-16, Deputy Secretary Biegun will visit Dhaka, Bangladesh to meet with senior government officials and reaffirm the United States-Bangladesh partnership.
The Deputy Secretary's engagements in Bangladesh will focus on advancing our common vision of a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and secure Indo-Pacific region with shared prosperity for all; US-Bangladesh cooperation on COVID-19 response and recovery efforts; and sustainable economic development, the note had also read.