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Thursday, February 29, 2024

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin travelling to India next week

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New Delhi/Washington: US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin will be visiting India next week, for talks with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during which both sides will seek to enhance “new defence innovation and industrial cooperation initiatives” as well as expand operational cooperation between the militaries of the two nations.

The US Secretary of Defence will also be travelling to Japan, Singapore, and France.

In a tweet, the US Defence Secretary said:

“I look forward to traveling to Japan, Singapore, India and France next week.

“We’ve made groundbreaking progress over the past year alongside our allies and partners toward advancing our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“This trip will be my seventh to the Indo-Pacific region and it will showcase some of our major achievements and highlight our enduring relationships with Allies and partners.”

A Pentagon readout said: “As part of his seventh official visit to the Indo-Pacific region, Secretary Austin will travel to Tokyo to meet with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and other senior leaders and visit U.S. troops stationed in Japan. Secretary Austin’s visit comes as the United States and Japan take important strides to modernize Alliance capabilities, optimize U.S. force posture, and build links with like-minded partners following the historic U.S.-Japan “2+2” Ministerial meeting earlier this year.

“From there, Secretary Austin will travel to Singapore where he will deliver plenary remarks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. On the margins of the Dialogue, the Secretary will meet with key leaders to advance U.S. defense partnerships across the region in support of our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, anchored in ASEAN centrality.

“After Singapore, Secretary Austin will visit New Delhi to meet with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders as the United States and India continue to modernize the U.S.-India Major Defense Partnership.

“This visit provides an opportunity to accelerate new defense innovation and industrial cooperation initiatives and drive ongoing efforts to expand operational cooperation between the U.S. and Indian militaries.

“Secretary Austin will conclude his trip in France to participate in events commemorating the 79th anniversary of D-Day, and meet with French and United Kingdom defense leaders.”

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