India delighted to host US Defence Secretary, discussions will add new vigour to defence ties: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday said that talks with US Defence Secretary Mark Esper were fruitful and were aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas.

In a tweet, the minister said that talks between the two countries will add new vigour to India-US defence relations and cooperation.

“India is delighted to host the US Secretary of Defence, Dr. Mark Esper. Our talks today were fruitful, aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas. Today’s discussions will add new vigour to India-US defence relations & mutual cooperation,” he said.

The two leaders met on Tuesday ahead of Tuesday’s 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. Esper and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo are in India to participate in the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present in the meeting.

On his arrival at the South Block, Esper was accorded Guard of Honour.

US State Department said on Sunday that the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue demonstrates the high-level commitment the two countries provide to shared diplomatic and security objectives.

It said India-US 2+2 talks will focus on four themes — regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions and defence trade.

The first 2+2 ministerial dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018 and the second in Washington DC in 2019.

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