India, US reaffirm commitment to free, open Indo-Pacific: Austin after meeting CDS Rawat

Washington [US]: US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin on Sunday that it was an honour to meet India’s Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat during his recent US visit, during which they reaffirmed India-US enduring commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Taking to Twitter, Austin termed Rawat’s visit to the US as “historic”. “It was an honour to meet Indian Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Rawat during his historic visit to the Pentagon last week. We reaffirmed our enduring commitment to a #FreeandOpenIndoPacific and discussed ways to drive greater interoperability between the U.S. and Indian armed forces,” he tweeted.
Rawat on Thursday met Austin during which both exchanged views on advancing defence partnership, as per the Pentagon statement.
Austin and Rawat exchanged views on priorities for advancing the US-India defence partnership, including through enhanced cooperation in new defence domains such as space, cyber, and emerging technologies, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a readout of the conversation on Thursday.
Earlier on Thursday, General Rawat had met the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A Milley in Washington and both discussed a range of issues, including ways to ensure regional security.
The top officials agreed to continued cooperation in training exercises and creating more opportunities to increase interoperability between the two militaries, Office of the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs said in a statement.
Milley had welcomed General Rawat during an Armed Forces full honour arrival ceremony on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. General Rawat laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of his official visit.

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