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US Defense Secretary thanks India for cooperation in Afghan evacuation

The Pentagon said the two leaders were committed to continuing to monitor the situation in Afghanistan. file

Washington:

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a phone call with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, thanked India for its cooperation during the recent evacuation from Afghanistan and the two leaders for continuing to monitor the situation in the war-torn country, the Pentagon said today. Committed.

The talks between Austin and Defense Minister Singh came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US this week to attend a personal summit of the Quad leaders in Washington and address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a readout of the call, “Secretary Austin thanked India for its cooperation in the evacuation and retrograde mission in Afghanistan, and the two leaders expressed their appreciation for continuing to monitor the situation in Afghanistan and assisting risk groups.” Committed to.” .

India and the US are in touch with each other on the Afghanistan crisis after the Taliban capture of Kabul on August 15.

In a reflection of India’s views on the Afghan crisis, Prime Minister Modi said during a virtual address on Friday at a meeting of the heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization on Afghanistan that the global community needs new sets in Afghanistan. Decide “collectively” and “deliberately” to recognize -up because the power change was not “inclusive”.

“He reiterated his commitment to ensuring the Indo-Pacific region remains free and open,” Mr. Kirby said.

“Austin appreciated the continued progress in deepening the US-India defense relationship and said he looked forward to hosting Minister Singh in Washington for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue meeting,” the Pentagon’s press secretary said.

The fourth annual 2+2 dialogue between India and the US will be held in Washington in November this year.

The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue takes place between the Foreign and Defense Ministers of both sides. The inaugural “2+2” India-US Dialogue was held in New Delhi in 2018.

The last meeting of 2+2 was held in New Delhi and the next meeting is to be hosted by the US here.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will be hosted by their US counterparts Foreign Minister Blinken and Defense Secretary Austin for the first India-US 2+2 meeting under the Biden administration.

Earlier, Mr. Austin had made a three-day visit to New Delhi in March.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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