Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday held bilateral talks with the United States Secretary of Defence Llyod Austin in Delhi on the latter’s India visit. US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti was also present during the meeting.
US Defence Secretary Llyod Austin arrived in India yesterday for a two-day long visit. Earlier today he inspected the Tri-Services Guard of Honour in presence of Defence Minister at the Manekshaw Centre in the national capital.
Following his arrival the US Defence Secretary tweeted, “I'm returning to India to meet with key leaders for discussions about strengthening our Major Defense Partnership.” He said, “Together, we're advancing a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Austin's visit to New Delhi will focus on advancing the India-US new defence innovation and industrial cooperation initiatives and continuing with the efforts to expand operational cooperation between the US and Indian militaries.
Meanwhile, elaborating on the details of Austin’s visit, the Pentagon said, “After Singapore, Secretary Austin will visit New Delhi to meet with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders as the United States and India continue to modernize the US-India Major Defence Partnership.”
It further said, “This visit provides an opportunity to accelerate new defence innovation and industrial cooperation initiatives and drive ongoing efforts to expand operational cooperation between the US and Indian militaries.”
Moreover, the visit also holds added importance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming state visit of Washington later this month. This is the US Defence Secretary’s second visit to India after a previous trip in March 2021.
Secretary Austin will visit France after India to conclude his four-nation trip where he will take part in events to commemorate the 79th anniversary of D-Day and meet with French and United Kingdon defence leaders.