Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh received an introductory telephone call from the newly appointed US Secretary of defence Gen. (Retired) Lloyd Austin on 27 January 2021.
Previously, Raksha Mantri had Congratulated Secretary Austin on his appointment.
During the telephonic talk, they reaffirmed their commitment to work together to strengthen the multifaceted India – US defence cooperation and the strategic partnership.
Raksha Mantri and Secretary Austin discussed bilateral, regional and global issues.
During the phone call with Secretary Austin, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated him on his appointment. “We reiterated our firm commitment to deepen India-US defence cooperation. We exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest to strengthen our strategic partnership,” the Raksha Mantri said in a tweet.
Issues concerning bilateral ties, regional concerns and global agendas were also discussed between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his US counterpart.
India-US defence ties have been on an upward trajectory since June 2016 when the US designated India as a “Major Defence Partner”.
In the final days of the Trump administration, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited India and the two countries signed the crucial BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement which provides for sharing of high-end military technology geospatial maps between the two countries.
Prior to BECA, India and the US signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018 and Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016.