Austin, Indian Counterpart Commit to Strengthening Defense Cooperation

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, expressed commitment to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, the Pentagon said on Monday following Austin’s travel to India.

Austin traveled to India from June 4-5 to reinforce defense partnership and advance cooperation with the country in the run-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.

“The Secretary and Minister Singh also committed to strengthen operational collaboration across all military services, with an eye to supporting India’s leading role as a security provider in the Indo-Pacific,” the statement said.

US Army troops and Indian soldiers ride in a jeep together as they train during a joint military exercise with Indian Army troops called Yudh Abhyas 2011-12 in the desert near Bikaner, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.10.2022

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They also welcomed the conclusion of a new roadmap for bilateral defense industrial cooperation.

“This initiative aims to change the paradigm for cooperation between U.S. and Indian defense sectors, including a set of specific proposals that could provide India access to cutting-edge technologies and support India’s defense modernization plans,” the statement said.

Austin and his counterparts focused on defense innovation in cyberspace, artificial intelligence, and other emerging domains. They also discussed maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the necessity to strengthen cooperation in the area, the Pentagon added.

During the trip, the Pentagon chief also met with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.





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