India-US convergence growing in Indo-Pacific: Rajnath

Bangkok: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday conveyed to US Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper that there was growing convergence between India and the US in the Indo-Pacific region, and bilateral cooperation between the two sides has grown across a wide range of issues.

Expressing happiness on the growing relationship between India and the US during a bilateral meeting with Esper on the sidelines of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) here, Singh said that the bilateral cooperation between the two sides has grown in various sectors like defence and security, economy, energy, counter-terrorism and people-to-people ties.

Singh noted that India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific was for a free and open, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive region supported by a rules-based order and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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“ASEAN is central to India’s vision of Indo-Pacific. Both countries are working together in the area of maritime security including elements such as joint exercises, HADR operations and maritime domain awareness,” a Defence Ministry statement said quoting Singh.

The two ministers also had discussions on a number of other issues concerning regional security and bilateral defence cooperation, said the statement.

The meeting ended on a positive note and the Defence Minister looked forward to have substantial discussions during the forthcoming 2+2 dialogue in Washington later next month.

Singh is currently in Bangkok, Thailand to participate in ADMM Plus meeting. He will also attend the opening ceremony of Defence and Security 2019 exhibition.

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