New US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to visit India this month, report

The new US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be visiting India later in March. His visit will take place in the second half of March and will be part of his larger visit to Indo-Pacific countries.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Mar 06, 2021 18:05 IST
New US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to visit India this month, report
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

As per recent reports, The new US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to visit India later in March. His visit will take place in the second half of March and will be part of his larger visit to Indo-Pacific countries. 

This will be the first in-person visit of any top Biden administration official to Delhi and comes two months after the new president took charge in Washington.

During his India visit, Llyod will hold talks with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Both ministers held talks in January, with a key focus on the Indo-Pacific vision backed by New Delhi and Washington.

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The visit happens as work is in progress for the Quad leadership meeting. The meet will be attended by US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Indian PM Narendra Modi, and Japan's Yoshihide Suga.

Australian PM Scott Morrison confirming plans of the meet said, "I am looking forward to that first gathering of quad leaders. It will be the first-ever gathering of quad leaders. I already had bilateral discussions with Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga, the PM of Japan and PM of India."

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India and the US share close defense cooperation with Washington authorizing over $20 billion in defence sales to India. 

US State Department last week said, "It’s these offers of advanced U.S. defense platforms that demonstrate our commitment to India’s security and sovereignty. It demonstrates our commitment to that global, comprehensive, strategic partnership."

Austin was the 33rd vice chief of staff of the Army from January 2012 to March 2013, and the last commanding general of United States Forces – Iraq Operation New Dawn. He is the first African American to serve as the United States secretary of defense.

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