PIB, August 20
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh had a telephonic conversation with U.S. Secretary of Defence, Dr. Mark T. Esper today. Raksha Mantri congratulated Dr. Esper on his appointment as the U.S. 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, R&D 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 operationalize agreements like LEMOA and COMCASA.
Raksha Mantri invited the U.S. companies to invest in the Indian defence manufacturing sector under the ‘Make in India’ programme.
Shri Rajnath Singh raised the issue of cross-border terrorism affecting India and appreciated U.S. 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 which are aimed at improving growth and economic development, democracy and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
U.S. Secretary of Defence appreciated India’s position that the recent developments in Jammu & 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 U.S.