US Defence secretary Mark Esper dials Rajnath Singh, discusses steps to deepen cooperation with India

  • US defence secretary Mark Esper said he discussed future steps needed to be taken for India and US to work together more closely, during his conversation with Rajnath Singh.

  • Esper, who took office last month, had his first conversation with Singh over the telephone on 20 August.

  • However, he did not divulge any further details of the call.

Washington: US defence secretary Mark Esper on Thursday said he discussed future steps needed to be taken for India and US to work together more closely, during his conversation with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

 US Defence secretary Mark Esper dials Rajnath Singh, discusses steps to deepen cooperation with India

US secretary of defense Mark Esper speaks to reporters during a briefing. AP

Esper, who took office last month, had his first conversation with Singh over the telephone on 20 August.

"We had a very warm conversation. We talked about our mutual strategic interest and discussed some next steps by which we can work together more closely," Esper told reporters at the Pentagon.

However, he did not divulge any further details of the call.

Earlier, a spokesperson of the Defence Ministry in New Delhi had said that Esper appreciated the central government's position that the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir are an internal matter of India and he hoped that any issue between India and Pakistan would be resolved bilaterally.

Singh had raised with Esper the issue of cross-border terrorism and appreciated the US support for India's effort to maintain peace and stability in the region, the spokesperson had said.

"They exchanged views on a range of issues related to military-to-military cooperation, defence policy, research and development, defence trade, technology and industrial cooperation," the official had said.

The two leaders are likely to meet in Washington DC later this year as part of the '2+2' India-US dialogue. They will be joined by External Affairs minister S Jaishankar and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the strategic talks.

Updated Date: Aug 29, 2019 08:05:15 IST