New Delhi: US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin has said that India is the mainstay of the United States’ policies for this sector. Secretary of Defence, Austin underlined this during bilateral talks with the Indian Defence Minister. US Secretary of Defence also said that the cooperation between the two biggest democracies of the world is vital for the free and open Indo-Pacific sector. US Secretary of Defence also suggested that he was confident that the India-China dispute on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh would not escalate into a war.
Bilateral talks were held between US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, and Indian Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin also held talks with Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar. Secretary of Defence Austin, said that the objective of his visit was to make the defence cooperation with India more comprehensive and stronger. After the talks with the Indian Defence Minister and Secretary of Defence, Austin, claimed that the meeting was fruitful. He also passed a verdict that the India-US cooperation in the Indo-Pacific sector is vital for the region’s security and stability.
Secretary of Defence, Austin, added that the United States was prepared to supply all the necessary advanced technology and cooperation for the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. Austin clarified that the United States was keen on cooperating with India to exchange confidential information, provision and equipment supplies, artificial intelligence, and the new fronts of space and cyber sectors. Important agreements, namely the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), have already been signed between India and the United States. Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh informed that discussions for mutually beneficial implementation of these agreements were held during the meeting. The Indian Defence Minister said that the India-US partnerships would be defining the future of the 21st century. Both countries will make all the possible efforts to strengthen the partnership further.
Meanwhile, it is being said that discussion regarding the dispute between India and China on the LAC in Ladakh were also held during the meeting. The US Secretary of Defence said that he was confident that this dispute will not escalate into a war. But when the tension started, the then US President Donald Trump had expressed concerns that the LAC situation in Ladakh was dangerous and war could spark at any moment. Trump had also proposed to mediate to defuse the tension.
Media claims that US Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin, delivers a message to China with this India visit. The analysts are pointing out that the Biden administration position regarding India and China has not been clearly defined. Adopting a stand favouring China, in the current scenario, will prove to be a blunder for the Biden administration. Analysts are claiming that therefore there is a need for India to seriously consider whether the Biden administration will be able to maintain this firm stand currently adopted by them, against China, even in the future.