As part of their Indo-Pacific engagement, both India and US seek to strengthen cooperation in areas like maritime security and counter-terrorism

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held a warm and productive meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a day before India and the US are to hold two-plus-two ministerial dialogue in New Delhi.

During the meeting, two ministers discussed key bilateral, regional and global issues.

According to sources, both leaders reviewed progress in bilateral ties over the last four years and expressed satisfaction that relations between the two countries have grown in virtually every domain including trade, energy, defence and education.

The two ministers also expressed satisfaction that practice of consultations on foreign policy issues has also expanded, including regional and multilateral; working more closely in multilateral and plurilateral formats.

During the meeting, EAM Jaishankar stressed the uniqueness of technology and talent flow, while underlining that “a knowledge economy with greater data sensitivity makes an even stronger case for collaboration between the two sides.”

Emphasizing that “an innovation partnership is central to our future”, he said, “Our policies must be accordingly supportive. Education is a special bond between us and both sides should work to expand it further.”

The two ministers, as per sources, also exchanged views on the current global situation and the contemporary challenges faced by the people in the world. They also expressed their concerns on the stability and security situation in Asia, and how best that can be ensured.

In the background of their Indo-Pacific engagement and Quad deliberations, they spoke about maritime security, counter-terrorism, open connectivity and resilient supply chains.

On the Afghanistan issue, sources said, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared with EAM Jaishankar, the Trump administration’s thinking. But EAM Jaishankar highlighted India’s stakes in the land locked nation and New Delhi’s continuing concern that decisions should be made by Afghans themselves without use of force.

The EAM also made it clear that cross-border terrorism was completely unacceptable. He also discussed multilateral consultations and cooperation in the context of India's forthcoming UNSC membership.