India, US defence ministers meet ahead of 2+2 delegation level talks

US Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper, who, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is on a visit to India for the India-US 2+2 ministerial meeting, today met defence minister Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi’s South Block. 

The two ministers reviewed bilateral defence cooperation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues and also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward.
Both the ministers expressed satisfaction at the close engagements between the respective armed forces. They discussed potential new areas of cooperation, both at Service to Service level and at the joint level. They called for continuation of existing defence dialogue mechanisms during the pandemic, at all levels, particularly the Military Cooperation Group (MCG). They also discussed requirements of expanding deployments of liaison officers.
The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit. US Secretary of Defence welcomed Australia’s participation in the exercise MALABAR 2020 naval exercises. 
During the meeting, Rajnath Singh elaborated upon the initiatives under the `Atmanirbhar Bharat’ to encourage investments in the defence industry in India and invited US companies to make avail of the liberalised policies and the favorable defence industry ecosystem in India. 
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper arrived in India today with the aim of expanding cooperation to promote stability and prosperity in the India-Pacific amidst increasing Chinese threat to peace in the region.
Both the US secretaries were received by defence minister Rajnath Singh while Mark Esper was accorded Guard of Honour in New Delhi. Esper held talks with Rajnath Singh, CDS General Bipin Rawat and Services chiefs.
Later in the day, Pompeo met external affairs minister S Jaishankar and is scheduled to meet Rajnath Singh for the US-India 2+2 ministerial dialogue. He will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold discussions with other government and business leaders on ways to advance the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.