2+2 ministerial meeting with US "very meaningful", says Rajnath Singh
The United States is India's "natural ally", Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday as he further underlined that the 2+2 ministerial meeting in Washington was "very meaningful", and it will help in "strengthening the strategic defence engagement" between the two countries. "Had a very meaningful and in-depth discussion at the 2+2 ministerial meeting in Washington DC. During the meeting, we shared our assessments of the situation in our neighbourhood and (the) Indian Ocean Region. India-US Defence Cooperation is being further expanded and strengthened. (sic)" the minister wrote in a tweet. "The meeting is important in strengthening the strategic defence engagement between India and the US and will enable us to work alongside in areas of mutual interest. Our increased cooperation will be critical to maintain peace & security, and to ensure free access to global commons. (sic)," he said in another tweet. Had a very meaningful and in-depth discussion at the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting in Washington DC. During the meeting, we shared our assessments of the situation in our neighbourhood and Indian Ocean Region. India-US Defence Cooperation is being further expanded and strengthened. Speaking after the dialogue, he further said: "America is our natural ally, no two-ways about it...We want to maintain good ties with all the countries..."
US defence secretary of state Lloyd Austin has insisted that the US was exploring options to work with India and make "the systems affordable". "On the issue of future systems, we are engaged in active discussions with India on how to best support their modernization needs. As we look at the future, we want to make sure that we maintain the ability to operate together, and so we look forward to those continued discussions, and it also includes a range of options that would make our systems more affordable," he said at a press briefing.
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