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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

EAM Jaishankar meets US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo

The External Affairs Minister held a productive conversation with Austin on deepening bilateral defence cooperation, including in the co-production of defence articles

PTI Washington Published 30.09.23, 10:09 AM
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar being received by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar being received by United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin PTI

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has met US Defence Secretary Loyd Austin and held a productive conversation with him on deepening bilateral defence cooperation, including in the co-production of defence articles, and exchanged perspectives on a variety of security issues.

He also met Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

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After his meeting with Austin at the Pentagon on Friday, Jaishankar posted on X, “Productive conversation on our bilateral defence cooperation. Useful exchange on global security challenges.

“I was glad to host Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar at the Pentagon today to discuss US-India cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region,” Austin said.

The Pentagon said the two officials exchanged perspectives on a variety of security issues, including recent developments in East Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

“Austin and Jaishankar discussed opportunities to deepen bilateral defence cooperation, including expanded defence industrial cooperation and co-production of defence articles; streamlined logistics procedures to enhance operational cooperation; and continued implementation of the India-US Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X),” said Pentagon’s Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh.

In the meeting with the Commerce Secretary, they appreciated the significant progress in technology collaboration and economic partnership this year.

“Agreed to enhance their momentum,” Jaishankar said.

A day earlier, he had meetings with National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

He also interacted with the business community over luncheon: on Thursday with the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum and with the US India Business Council (USIBC) on Friday.

"A stimulating meeting today with the US defence industry at @USIBC. Discussed how strategic convergence, technology collaboration and easier-to-do business are coming together to transform our defence partnership," Jaishankar posted on X.

He also had a chance to meet members of the US Congress and think-tank representatives here.

“This year, of course, I think, the big event is still in a sense the determining context is our prime minister's visit (in June). A lot of what we've been doing since then has been to realise the various agreements and understandings that were reached,” Jaishankar told Indian reporters at a meeting at the Indian Embassy here.

“A lot of our discussions were in stock-taking to assess the progress to see what is it we should be doing more or where is it that has not been the progress matching expectations. We hope now to take that entire process forward into the 2+2 meeting, which will take place a few weeks from now,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming secretaries Blinken and Austin to India,” he added.

In a statement, USTR said that Tai and Jaishankar took stock of recent developments and positive momentum in the US-India trade relationship following the resolution of seven long-standing disputes at the World Trade Organisation and India’s reduction of tariffs on certain US products.

“They also discussed their interest in working more constructively on the broader WTO agenda, including reforming the organisation to serve the needs of all people,” said the statement.

“Tai and Jaishankar shared views on India’s important role in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework as well as potential sectors for further collaboration on supply chain resilience, including critical minerals,” USTR said.

The two leaders agreed to remain in contact on these and other issues as the respective teams continue planning the next meeting of the US-India Trade Policy Forum, it said.

On Saturday, Jaishankar is scheduled to have interaction with eminent Indian Americans from across the country at the India House.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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