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Issues relating to Article 370 internal matter of India: Rajnath Singh to US secretary of defence Esper

Mark T Esper and Rajnath Singh. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 20, 2019, 07.05 PM (IST)

India's defence minister Rajnath Singh spoke to US secretary of defence Mark Esper today as the two ministers discussed bilateral defence cooperation and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and deepen the relations further.

During the phone call, Rajnath Singh invited US companies to invest in India's defence manufacturing sector under the "Make in India" programme.

Rajnath Singh raised the issue of cross-border terrorism affecting India and appreciated US support for India’s effort to maintain peace and stability in the region, the Ministry of Defence said.

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Rajnath Singh said that issues relating to Article 370 are an internal matter of India which is aimed at improving growth and economic development, democracy and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Esper while speaking to Rajnath appreciated India’s position that the recent developments in Jammu & Kashmir were an internal matter of India and hoped that any issue between India and Pakistan would be resolved bilaterally, the ministry of defence said in a statement.

Both the ministers exchanged views on a range of issues relating to military-to-military cooperation, defence policy, R&D cooperation, defence trade, technology and industrial cooperation. 

Esper and Rajnath Singh expressed satisfaction on the first tri-service joint exercise planned for later this year and steps taken to operationalise agreements like LEMOA and COMCASA.
 
On Monday, PM Modi had called President Trump to speak on similar lines with the Indian prime minister informing the US president that "certain nations" were spreading anti-India propaganda. 

After the phone call with Modi, Trump called PM Imran Khan and discussed the need to reduce tensions and "moderate rhetoric with India over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir."