Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Talks to US Counterpart Mark T. Esper

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had a telephonic talk with his American counterpart, Secretary of Defence, Dr Mark T. Esper congratulating him on his appointment and both 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 operationalize agreements like LEMOA and COMCASA.

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

On the issue of cross-border terrorism affecting India, Singh 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.

Dr Esper 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 Ministers looked forward to the 2+2 dialogue later this year in the US.