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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calls General Bipin Rawat’s US visit ‘historic’

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Lloyd Austin said General Rawat and US officials reaffirmed their commitment to an independent Indo-Pacific. (file)

Washington:

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday described Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat’s recent visit to the Pentagon as “historic”, during which he discussed ways to ensure greater interoperability between the two armed forces and for a free and open reaffirmed its enduring commitment. Indo-Pacific.

General Rawat’s visit to the US came a week after the first personal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden at the White House during which the two leaders reaffirmed the need for greater military-to-military cooperation between India and the US. .

“It was an honor to meet Indian Chief of Defense Staff General Rawat during his historic visit to the Pentagon last week,” Austin said.

Amid China’s aggressive actions in the region, Austin said in a tweet, “We reaffirmed our abiding commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and discussed ways to promote greater interoperability between the US and Indian Armed Forces.” discussed.”

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said General Rawat and Austin exchanged views on priorities for advancing the US-India defense partnership, including increasing cooperation in new defense areas such as space, cyber and emerging technologies.

“Austin underscored the US commitment to support the Indian Armed Forces’ transition toward greater institutional integration and operational connectedness. They also discussed opportunities for expanding multilateral cooperation with regional partners,” he said.

“This historic meeting highlights the enduring strength of the US-India key defense partnership as the two countries work closely with like-minded partners to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kirby said.

On September 24, President Biden hosted the first-ever in-person summit of the Quad leaders, who vowed to strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, anchored by democratic values ​​and unrestricted by coercion, Sending a clear message. China.

At the invitation of President Biden, Prime Minister Modi and his counterparts Scott Morrison from Australia and Yoshihide Suga from Japan attended the Quad summit.

India, the US and several other world powers are talking about the need to ensure a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s increasing military maneuvers in the resource-rich region.

China claims almost all of the disputed South China Sea, although Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.

During his visit to the Pentagon, General Rawat also met with his US counterpart, General Mark Milley, and they discussed a range of issues, including ways to ensure regional security and his respective roles as key military advisor to the civilian leadership .

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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