India, US defence ministers talk business, Kashmir

File Photo: India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh

India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh had a telephonic conversation with United States of America Secretary of Defence Dr. Mark T. Esper on Aug 20. Rajnath Singh congratulated Dr. Esper on his appointment as the US Secretary of Defense.

Both the ministers expressed happiness at the significant progress in bilateral defence co-operation and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and deepen the relations further.

They exchanged views on a range of issues related to military-to-military co-operation, defence policy, research and development co-operation, defence trade, technology and industrial co-operation.

They expressed satisfaction on the first tri-service joint exercise planned for later this year and steps taken to operationalise agreements like LEMOA and COMCASA.

Rajnath Singh invited the American companies to invest in the Indian defence manufacturing sector under the ‘Make in India‘ programme.

The Indian minister raised the issue of cross-border terrorism affecting India and appreciated US support for India’s effort to maintain peace and stability in the region.

He said issues relating to Article 370 are an internal matter of India, aimed at improving growth and economic development, democracy and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

File Photo: US Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper

US Secretary of Defence appreciated India’s position that the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir are an internal matter of India. He hoped that any issue between India and Pakistan will be resolved bilaterally.

Both the ministers looked forward to the 2+2 dialogue later this year in the US.

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