India, US officials meet to discuss maritime security, trade

Top diplomats and military leaders from India and the United States are meeting here to discuss maritime security and regional trade as part of their East Asia consultations, a US official has said.

The sixth session of the US-India East Asia Consultations, among other things would discuss a variety of issues including maritime security, expanding regional trade opportunities, and increasing cooperation in multilateral fora, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, said on the eve of the meeting today.

"As the United States continues to implement our strategic rebalance to Asia we will work with India to address both the challenges and the opportunities across the Indo-Pacific region," Biswal said.

The India side would be represented by Indian Ambassador to the US, S Jaishankar, Joint Secretary for East Asia Gautam Bambawale, and Joint Secretary for the Americas Vikram Doraiswami.

The US Pacific Command Commander Admiral Samuel J Locklear, along with Biswal and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Russel, would represent the American side.

"This dialogue is an opportunity for the United States and India to share views on regional priorities and identify areas for cooperation in our engagement with regional and multilateral institutions," the State Department said in a statement.

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