US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday Stated that elevating the US-India defence partnership is a precedence of the Biden administration as he described the connection between the 2 nations as a “stronghold” of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Austin held wide-ranging talks with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and mentioned India is an more and more essential companion amid quickly shifting worldwide dynamics and Washington was dedicated to a “forward-looking” defence partnership with New Delhi as a central pillar of its method to the area.
Austin arrived right here on Friday on a three-day go to as a part of his three-nation first abroad tour that signalled the Biden administration’s sturdy dedication to its relations with its shut allies and companions within the Indo-Pacific area. He visited Japan and South Korea earlier than India.
“I reaffirmed our dedication to a complete and forward-looking defence partnership with India as a central pillar of our method to the area,” he mentioned in a media assertion in presence of Singh
“Because the world faces a worldwide pandemic and rising challenges to an open and secure worldwide system, the US-India relationship is a stronghold of a free and open Indo-Pacific area,” he mentioned.
The US Defence Secretary mentioned because the Indo-Pacific area faces challenges to a free and open regional order, cooperation amongst like-minded nations is crucial to securing the shared imaginative and prescient for the long run.
“We mentioned alternatives to raise the US-India Main Defence Partnership…a precedence of the Biden-Harris Administration by regional safety cooperation, military-to-military interactions, and defence commerce,” Austin mentioned.
“As well as, we’re persevering with to advance new areas of collaboration, together with information-sharing, logistics cooperation, synthetic intelligence; and cooperation in new domains resembling house and cyber,” he added.
Austin additionally described his talks with Singh as “productive” dialogue on numerous safety points that are essential to the 2 nations.
“Because the Indo-Pacific area faces acute transnational challenges, resembling local weather change, and challenges to a free and open regional order, cooperation amongst like-minded nations is crucial to securing our shared imaginative and prescient for the long run,” he mentioned.
“Regardless of right this moment’s difficult safety setting, the partnership between the US and India, the world’s two largest democracies, stays resilient and powerful and we’ll search each alternative to construct upon this main partnership,” he added.
About his go to, Austin mentioned he wished to convey the Biden administration’s message of the US’s sturdy dedication to its allies and companions.
“India, specifically, is an more and more essential companion amid right this moment’s quickly shifting worldwide dynamics,” he added.
In his assertion, Austin additionally referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s feedback that India stands for “freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce, and adherence to worldwide regulation.”
“This can be a resounding affirmation of our shared imaginative and prescient for regional safety within the Indo-Pacific. And it is clear that the significance of this partnership, and its influence to the worldwide rules-based order will solely develop within the years forward,” he mentioned.
He mentioned there was a dialogue on engagement with like-minded companions by multilateral groupings such because the Quad and ASEAN. The ten-nation ASEAN (Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations) is a key stakeholder within the Indo-Pacific area.
“I’m assured that, collectively, we will construct a partnership match for right this moment’s and tomorrow’s challenges,” Austin mentioned.
On Friday, Austin had known as on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held talks with Nationwide Safety Advisor Ajit Doval.
“Nice assembly with Nationwide Safety Advisor Doval final night time. The breadth of collaboration between our two nations displays the importance of our Main Protection Partnership as we work collectively to handle essentially the most urgent challenges dealing with the Indo-Pacific area,” he tweeted.
(With PTI inputs.)
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