US Defence Secy lauds India's leadership role in Indo-Pacific region

ANI
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US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Prime Minister Narendra Modi
US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi [India], March 19 (ANI): US Defence Secretary Lloyd James Austin III on Friday commended India's leadership role in the Indo-Pacific region and growing engagement with like-minded partners across the region to promote shared goals.

Austin III, who is on an official visit to India, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in the state capital.

According to a statement by the US embassy in India, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to promote a free and open regional order.

"Both sides exchanged perspectives on shared challenges confronting the region and committed to further strengthen their broad-ranging and robust defence cooperation," the embassy said.

According to a PMO release, Austin met Prime Minister Modi and expressed America's strong desire to further enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

The release said 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.

PM Modi outlined his vision for the strategic partnership between the two countries and emphasised the important role of bilateral defence cooperation in the India-US ties.

Indo-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system. (ANI)