New US Defense Secretary Austin to visit India this month

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 06, 2021, 02:44 PM(IST)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a visit by US President Joe Biden to the Pentagon in Washington, DC, February 10, 2021. Photograph:( AFP )

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This will be the first in-person visit of any top Biden administration official to Delhi and comes two months after the new president took charge in Washington

The new US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be visiting India later in March. His visit will take place in the second half of March and will be part of his larger visit to Indo-Pacific countries.

This will be the first in-person visit of any top Biden administration official to Delhi and comes two months after the new president took charge in Washington.

During his India visit, Llyod will hold talks with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Both ministers held talks in January, with a key focus on the Indo-Pacific vision backed by New Delhi and Washington.

The visit happens as work is in progress for the Quad leadership meeting. The meet will be attended by US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Indian PM Narendra Modi, and Japan's Yoshihide Suga.

Australian PM Scott Morrison confirming plans of the meet said, "I am looking forward to that first gathering of quad leaders. It will be the first-ever gathering of quad leaders. I already had bilateral discussions with Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga, the PM of Japan and PM of India."

India and the US share close defence cooperation with Washington authorising over $20 billion in defence sales to India.

US State Department last week said, "It’s these offers of advanced U.S. defense platforms that demonstrate our commitment to India’s security and sovereignty. It demonstrates our commitment to that global, comprehensive, strategic partnership."

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