The new US administration started its formal contact with India’s prime management on Wednesday, with secretary of defence Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reaching out to their counterparts Rajnath Singh and Ajit Doval to debate defence cooperation and stability within the Indo-Pacific.

In an introductory phone name from Austin to Singh, the 2 sides reaffirmed their dedication to work collectively to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation and the strategic partnership. They additionally mentioned bilateral, regional and international points, in keeping with a readout from the defence ministry.

The Pentagon mentioned Austin emphasised the defence division’s dedication to the US-India Major Defence Partnership, which is constructed on “shared values and common interest in ensuring the Indo-Pacific remains free and open”. Austin additionally famous the “great strides” in bilateral defence ties and pledged to work collaboratively with Singh.

India and the US highlighted the necessity to collectively deal with challenges within the post-Covid-19 period and likewise agreed to work intently on key points comparable to counter-terrorism and stability within the Indo-Pacific in the course of the dialog between Doval and Sullivan, the exterior affairs ministry mentioned.

There was no official phrase from the US on the dialog between the NSAs.

The phone calls marked the primary formal contact between the brand new US administration headed by President Joe Biden and India’s prime management. Biden can be anticipated to talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a part of his ongoing outreach to world leaders.

Singh had earlier congratulated Austin, the primary African-American secretary of defence, on his appointment. Modi spoke to Biden in November after his election victory and mentioned shared priorities and considerations, together with the pandemic, local weather change and cooperation within the Indo-Pacific.

In his dialog with Sullivan, Doval mentioned that as “leading democracies with an abiding faith in an open and inclusive world order, India and the US were uniquely positioned to work closely on regional and international issues”, together with combating terrorism, maritime safety, cyber-security and peace and stability within the Indo-Pacific area and past, the exterior affairs ministry mentioned.

Sullivan mentioned the US is wanting ahead to working collectively on the bilateral agenda and customary international challenges.

The two NSAs agreed to work intently to advance India-US relations, “which are built on shared values and common strategic and security interests”, the exterior affairs ministry mentioned. They additionally “highlighted the need to work collectively to address challenges in the post-Covid era and further expand the comprehensive global strategic partnership” between the 2 sides.

Addressing the annual convention of the Institute for National Security Studies, an Israeli assume tank, on Wednesday, exterior affairs minister S Jaishankar mentioned the US is coming to phrases with the rebalancing of world energy distribution, which has accelerated over the previous decade.

The US, as a pre-eminent energy, must grapple with the challenges of the world, and it will require “smart applications of power and influence abroad as well as strong partnerships,” he mentioned. “It is also necessary that solutions to current conflicts are arrived at through broader consultations,” he added.

Referring to adjustments world wide, Jaishankar mentioned: “Nowhere have the changes been sharper than in Asia, so presumably it would be reflected now in policy formulation.”


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