NEW DELHI: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s meeting with Indian Foreign Minister S Jayashankar for talks on Saturday was one of the topics of discussion between India and China and the situation in Afghanistan.
The meeting between the two lasted for an hour, people familiar with the matter said.
The visiting U.S. delegation spoke of Austin’s visit to Tokyo and Seoul – the two stops began their tour across the three countries before the U.S. Secretary of Defense arrived in India on Friday. On Friday, Austin met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. On Saturday, Austin had a detailed discussion with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Indo-Pacific region and the strategic situation in the region were discussed, said one person described above.
While briefing the US side on its recent visit to East Asia, Jaishankar spoke on “India’s current security challenges and our long-term strategic vision”, quoting one of the people above.
“Afghanistan was addressed in some detail,” the man described above said. The United States, led by President Joe Biden, aims to launch new diplomatic initiatives to restore peace in the war-torn country.
“The peace process and the ground situation, as well as the concerns and interests of regional powers and neighbors, were assessed,” the man said. Jaishankar added that he appreciated the Biden administration’s engagement with India on the issue.
“Both sides have acknowledged the continued growth of bilateral cooperation. Highlighting the generality and integration, Jaishankar said that the relationship was unique because of the breadth and intensity of the collaboration that covers so many domains, ”said a second person.
“Human rights and values are important to us as the two largest democracies in the world and we will lead by these values,” Austin said. Jayashankar agreed and stressed that the strong relationship between the two democracies was important not only for the two countries, but for the whole world, ”the second person added.