USA: As he met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin for bilateral talks today, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar was given a warm welcome at the Pentagon.
As Mr. Jaishankar arrives at the Pentagon, the seat of the US defence department, Mr. Austin is seen in a video clip hosting an honour cordon and welcoming him.
The US Defense Secretary strongly criticised China for its "unprecedented provocations in the Taiwan Strait" in his opening remarks and asserted that the US and India were collaborating to ensure the Indo-future. Pacific's
— ANI (@ANI) September 26, 2022
This is set against Mr. Jaishankar's scathing criticism of the US's supply of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
Speaking at a New York event, the external affairs minister claimed that relations between Washington and Islamabad did not advance "American interest". "It's a relationship that hasn't worked out well for either Pakistan or American interests," he said.The United States is working with a dozen other Indo-Pacific partners, Mr. Austin said, "to increase the prosperity of our region for the Indo-Pacific Economic framework."
In response, Mr. Jaishankar said that the India-US defence cooperation's "ripple impact" has a "larger beneficiary implication." The stability, security, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region should be guaranteed, he said, adding that cooperation between our two nations is one of the best ways to achieve this.For assisting Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Mr. Austin singled out China. "China still stands by Russia in the face of its ruthless invasion. Consequently, there are ongoing threats to the region's and global prosperity "said he.
When asked about the US' commitment to India by Mr. Jaishankar, he said, "I appreciate your friendship as a minister. And we cooperate to realise our common goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific. And I anticipate a fascinating conversation."The Pentagon chief also mentioned a recent phone call he had with Rajnath Singh, India's defence minister, and stated that the US and India's defence relationship is strengthening.
Pleasure to meet @SecDef once again.
Defence and Security cooperation is a key pillar of the contemporary India-US partnership. We noted the steady progress in policy exchange, interoperability, defense trade, service exercises and military-industrial cooperation. pic.twitter.com/9AkvTkALGk
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) September 26, 2022
"I'm honoured to host you at the Pentagon today, especially in light of my recent phone call with Rajnath Singh, the defence minister. These discussions underline the partnership's growing threat and ambition. And the relationship is getting stronger and stronger. The US and Indian militaries are currently being positioned to operate and coordinate more closely than ever, "said he.
After the Joe Biden administration gave the neighbouring nation a $450 million F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme, India voiced its concerns.
Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US State Department, stated to the media in response to a query regarding Mr. Jashankar's comments on the programme, "On the other hand, we don't see our relationship with India as being in relation to our relationship with Pakistan. These are both of our partners, and they each place a different emphasis."