Wed, 27 Sep 2023

New Delhi [India], June 5 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin on Monday in the national capital.

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti was also present during today's meeting.

The US Defence Secretary, who arrived in India a day ago on a two day long visit earlier today inspected the Tri-Services Guard of Honour in the presence of Defence Minister at the Manekshaw Centre in the national capital.

After 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." "Together, we're advancing a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific," he said.

Austin's New Delhi visit will prominently focus on advancing India-US new defence innovation and industrial cooperation initiatives and continuing with the efforts to expand operational cooperation between the US and Indian militaries.

The Pentagon, while elaborating on the details of the Defence Secretary's visit 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.""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," it said.

The visit holds particular significance as it comes over two weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming state visit to Washington later this month.

This is the US Defence Secretary's second visit to India after a previous trip to the country in March, 2021.

After India, Secretary Austin will conclude his trip in France to participate in events commemorating the 79th anniversary of D-Day and meet with French and United Kingdom defence leaders. (ANI)

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