US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to arrive in India for 3-day visit, to meet PM Modi

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will begin his three-day visit to India today. Lloyd is the first minister from the newly elected Biden administration to visit India.

The US Defense Secretary on his maiden trip to India is scheduled to meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval from 19 to 21 March. Austin will be discussing China tension, Indo-US defense cooperation, and upcoming defense deals on his India visit.

The American Defence Secretary is also expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is expected to meet the External Affairs Minister in the second half on Saturday.

Austin is visiting India from March 19 to 21 and is scheduled to meet the top political and military leadership of the country.

India and the US may discuss measures to encourage US companies to set up local manufacturing facilities for defense equipments, including possibilities of joint ventures with Indian partners.

Austin’s visit to India will be part of his first international tour since becoming the Defence Secretary. The Defence Ministry had mentioned in a statement last week that “Austin’s visit to India as part of his first overseas travel emphasizes the strength of the India-US strategic partnership”.

Discussion on maritime domain awareness, bilateral and multilateral military exercises, and increased collaboration in the Indian Ocean region will also be discussed in the meeting. The visit comes at a time when India and China are yet to resolve the military standoff in eastern Ladakh that began in May 2020.

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