US defence secretary Lloyd Austin to arrive in India today; set to meet Rajnath Singh, Ajit Doval

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 19, 2021, 09:14 AM(IST)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Photograph:( AFP )

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India and the US are said to discuss ways to solidify the bilateral defence cooperation as the two sides exchange views on regional security challenges and common interests for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin will be arriving in India today in the first visit by a top official from US President Joe Biden's cabinet.

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Upon arrival, Austin is set to meet Indian National Security Advisor(NSA) Ajit Doval and external affairs minister S Jaishankar.

India's defence minister Rajnath Singh is also slated to have talks with his US counterpart. There will be a wide range of issues on the table during the US defence secretary’s three-day visit.

India and the US are said to discuss ways to solidify the bilateral defence cooperation as the two sides exchange views on regional security challenges and common interests for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

Austin will call on Indian PM Narendra Modi before his departure. The India-China border face-off along the Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh is also likely to be a point of discussion.

The situation in Afghanistan is also significant for regional and international security.

India and the US maintain key bilateral partnership with both sides keen to expand bilateral military exercises, joint training of international peacekeeping troops and new arrangements for the two navies.

The talks are likely to further boost defence manufacturing and joint ventures.

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