India's defence minister Rajnath Singh with US defence secretary Mark Esper Photograph:( ANI )
The call happened at the request of the American side and comes even as US president has said that he is willing to mediate between India and China,
India's defence minister Rajnath Singh and US defence secretary Mark T Esper on Friday evening spoke to each other and discussed the ongoing India-China border row and the Chinese build-up on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The call happened at the request of the American side and comes even as US president has said that he is willing to mediate between India and China, something both New Delhi and Beijing have rejected.
The American read out of the talks said, "Secretary Esper and Minister Singh discussed a range of regional security issues and the secretary expressed his firm commitment to India’s leadership across the Indo-Pacific".
The Pentagon read out added,"Secretary Esper reiterated his support for a strong and enduring US-India defense partnership and the two leaders discussed ways to advance several important bilateral initiatives."
Defence ministry readout of the meet said COVID-19 crisis was also discussed with both side briefing "each other on the respective experience of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and vowed to continue the excellent bilateral cooperation in this regard."
Cyclone Amphan which struck West Bengal earlier this month was also mentioned with defence minister briefing about India’s relief efforts to his counterpart.
Defence secretary Esper was to visit earlier this year but could not due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Both ministers spoke to each other last in March. Each year, both meet each other usually at the sidelines of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the annual 2+2 India-US foreign and defence minister meet that alternates between the two capitals.