The new US administration under President Joe Biden has finally reached out to India in an attempt to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.
US defense secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday held a conversation with defence minister Rajnath Singh on regional and global issues of mutual interest. Whether a discussion on China happened or not is not known yet. However, the two reportedly spoke on strengthening bilateral ties including in the defence sector.
Following the conversation, Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Spoke with my US counterpart, @SecDef Austin & conveyed my warm wishes on his appointment. We reiterated our firm commitment to deepen India-US defence cooperation. We exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest to strengthen our strategic partnership.”
Talks between NSAs
India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval also had a telephonic conversation with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan later during the day.
The conversation focused on the fact that India and the US were uniquely positioned to work closely on regional and global issues, including combating the scourge of terrorism and ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two NSAs agreed to work closely to further advance India-US relations which are built on shared values and common strategic and security interests.
“National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had a telephone call with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan on January 27. NSA Doval conveyed his best wishes to Sullivan on his appointment as National Security Advisor,” it said.
“Doval underscored that as leading democracies, with an abiding faith in an open and inclusive world order, India and the US were uniquely positioned to work closely on regional and international issues including combating the scourge of terrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” the MEA said in a statement.
It said Sullivan stated that the US was looking forward to working together on the bilateral agenda and the common global challenges.
“The two NSAs agreed to work closely to further advance India-US relations, which are built on shared values and common strategic and security interests. They highlighted the need to work collectively to address challenges in the post-Covid era and further expand the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership,” the MEA said.
The Indo-US defence ties have been on an upswing in the last few years and in June 2016, the US had designated India a “Major Defence Partner”.
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