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US, India Discuss Defense Cooperation

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin inspects a joint military guard of honor upon his arrival at the Manekshaw Center for a meeting with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi, India, June 5, 2023.

Top defense officials from the United States and India met Monday in New Delhi to discuss boosting defense cooperation, weeks ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Washington.

India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that the talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin included "convergence of strategic interests and enhanced security cooperation."

"India-U.S. partnership is critical for ensuring a free, open and rules-bound Indo-Pacific region," Singh said. "We look forward to closely work with the U.S. across the domains for capacity building and further consolidating our strategic partnership."

Austin praised Singh after the meeting, saying his Indian counterpart "has helped paved the way for deeper collaboration, joint exercises, and technology sharing between our two countries."

Modi is due to make a state visit to the United States on June 22.

The United States has sought to deepen ties with India as part of an effort to counter China.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press and Reuters