Rajnath Singh meets US Defence Secy ahead of 2+2 ministerial dialogue

Rajnath Singh with US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper

New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today held a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper, who was accorded Guard of Honour at South Block in New Delhi, ahead of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue of Indian ministers with their US counterparts.

In a tweet, Rajnath Singh said, “India is delighted to host US Secretary of Defence, Dr Mark Esper. Our talks today were fruitful, aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas.”

“Today’s discussions will add new vigour to our defence relations and mutual cooperation,” he added.

Along with US Defence Secretary, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also arrived in India to participate in the 3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

During the meeting, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present.

The formal 2+2 ministerial dialogue will happen tomorrow and will be followed by a joint meeting called by Indian and US foreign and defence leaders with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The ministerial dialogue will focus on cross-cutting bilateral issues of mutual interest and the two sides will also exchange views on regional and international issues.

In addition to this, several important topics including Chinese aggressiveness, Indo-Pacific concept, how to deal with COVID pandemic, and increase in people to people engagement will also be discussed.

Furthermore, India and the United States are also expected to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation.

-RJV