India is committed to consolidate its defence partnership with US: Rajnath Singh
“I look forward to making the India-US relationship one of the defining partnerships of 21st century”: the Defence Minister
India and the US on Saturday held comprehensive talks on defence cooperation, including expanding military-to-military engagement across services, information sharing, cooperation in emerging sectors of defence and mutual logistics support between the two countries.
This was disclosed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after bilateral talks with visiting US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin.
Describing Lloyd Austin’s visit to India despite the Covid-19 triggered global pandemic as one showing “abiding commitment of the US to our bilateral relationship,” Rajnath Singh said, “We are keen to work together to realise the full potential of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.”
“I am happy to inform you that we had a comprehensive and fruitful discussion with Secretary Austin and his delegation. Our discussions today focussed on our wide ranging defence cooperation and expanding military-to-military engagement across services, information sharing, cooperation in emerging sectors of defence, and mutual logistics support,” the Defence Minister said.
“We reviewed the wide gamut of bilateral and multilateral exercises and agreed to pursue enhanced cooperation with the US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command and Africa Command. Acknowledging that we have in place the foundational agreements, LEMOA, COMCASA and BECA, we discussed steps to be taken to realise their full potential for mutual benefit,” he added.
“I conveyed my appreciation to Secretary Austin for participation of the US in Aero India 2021 along with a business delegation. I invited US industry to take advantage of India’s liberalized foreign direct investment (FDI) policies in the defence sector. We both agreed that there are opportunities for collaboration in the defence industry,” Rajnath Singh maintained.
The recent Leaders’ Summit of India, USA, Japan and Australia under the Quad framework “emphasized our resolve to maintain a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. We discussed the need for enhanced capacity building to address some of the non-traditional challenges such as oil spills and environmental disasters, drug trafficking, Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing,” he said.
“India is committed to further consolidate our robust defence partnership with the United States. I look forward to working with you closely to make the India-US relationship one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,” the Minister added.