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US made tremendous forward strides in defence partnership with India: Secy of Defence Lloyd Austin at 2+2 dialogue with Rajnath

Washington, DC [US]: US Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin, on Friday said the India-US Defence partnership has made tremendous forward strides in the past year, including the US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation Roadmap.

In his remarks at the bilateral with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, Austin said, "We made a tremendous stride forward in our defence partnership over this past year, including the US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation Roadmap, and we concluded that roadmap during my visit in June. In just 5 short months, we've made significant progress on that roadmap, and our operational cooperation is also moving from strength to strength."

"Our militaries are conducting increasingly complex exercises and building greater interoperability across all domains. I look forward to discussing all these topics today as we take stock of our accomplishments. I'm glad that we will also discuss new ways to further strengthen the major defence partnership," Austin added.

Earlier in the day, the US Secretary of Defence noted that India and Washington, have over the past year made "impressive gains" in building a defence partnership.

He called it "important" that India and US exchange views, find common goals and deliver for the people of the two nations in the face of the urgent global challenges.

In his opening remarks at the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Austin said, "We are meeting at a time of great momentum. The US and India partnership in the face of urgent global challenges, it's more important than ever that the world's two largest democracies exchange views, find common goals, and deliver for our people. We've made impressive gains in building our major defence partnership over the past year, and that will help us contribute even more together to the cause of peace and stability."

Austin stated that the scope of India-US cooperation is vast, adding that the strength of the US-India partnership is rooted in the people-to-people ties, which he stressed is the heart of the friendship between the two nations.

"We're integrating our industrial bases, strengthening our interoperability, and sharing cutting-edge technology. The scope of our cooperation is vast, it stretches from the sea to space. The strength of our partnership is rooted in the people-to-people ties that are the heart of our long friendship together, our diplomats, entrepreneurs, and students are expanding our partnership in new domains, including clean energy, artificial intelligence, and semiconductors," Austin added.

The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a diplomatic summit held every year since 2018, with the Minister of External Affairs and the Defence Minister representing India and the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defence representing the United States. The discussions centre on common issues of concern between the two countries.

The dialogue will provide a platform for top-level discussions between the US and India, addressing critical bilateral and global matters, with special emphasis on developments unfolding in the Indo-Pacific region. (ANI)

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