US Def Sec Austin calls on Modi; Conveys his country's strong desire to further boost Indo-US strategic ties

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) US Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday and expressed his country's strong desire to further enhance the strategic partnership with India for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. During the meeting, Modi outlined his vision for the strategic partnership between the two countries and emphasised the important role of bilateral defence cooperation in Indo-US ties, a PMO statement said, adding that he asked Austin to convey his best wishes to American President Joe Biden. The Prime Minister welcomed the warm and close relationship between the two countries which is rooted in shared values of democracy, pluralism and commitment to a rules-based order, the statement said. 'Secretary Austin reiterated the US government's continued commitment towards strengthening the bilateral defence relations between the two countries. He expressed US' strong desire to further enhance the strategic partnership for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,' it said. On his first official visit to India as Defence Secretary, Austin, who arrived earlier in the day, also conveyed Biden's greetings to the Prime Minister. PTI KR PYK PYK