India and US pledge to deepen defense ties

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The two nations have signed several defense and security pacts over the past few years.

On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh while India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval talked to his US counterpart, Jake Sullivan. 

The new Biden administration started establishing contacts with Indian counterparts and both the countries reaffirm to expand growing defense and security cooperations. On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh while India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval talked to his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan.

Singh stated that he and his US counterpart Lloy Austin “exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest to strengthen our strategic partnership” over a telephonic conversation on Wednesday. 

A read-out by Pentagon stated: “Secretary Austin noted the great strides made in the US-India defense relationship, and he pledged to work collaboratively with the Defense Minister to sustain progress.”

The White House on Wednesday stated that US NSA Sullivan in his first call with the Indian counterpart Doval had reaffirmed the commitment of President Biden to a strong bilateral strategic partnership. 

In a statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said: “NSA Doval underscored that as leading democracies, with an abiding faith in an open and inclusive world order, India and the US were uniquely positioned to work closely on regional and international issues including combating the scourge of terrorism, maritime security, cybersecurity and peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.” 

The MEA statement also said that the two NSA’s had agreed to work closely to expand India-US ties built on shared values, common strategic and security interests. It also stated that both the NSAs have cited the need to address challenges in the post-pandemic era and further expand the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. 

The two nations have signed several defense and security pacts over the past few years, including the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018, and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) in October. 

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