We consider India to be a great partner: Austin

New Delhi [India]March 21 (ANI): US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called India “a great partner” on Saturday. He also stated that the two countries promote peace and stability in the region and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

There were many opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the two nations. “We see India as a great partner and I think we have done a number of things to work well together. There are just a lot of opportunities there to strengthen that partnership and do some things, extra things to make sure we’re ‘promoting peace and stability in the region and creating a free and open Indo-Pacific region,’ he said at a news conference in New Delhi.

“We covered a wide range of topics, including equipment. That included sharing information; there were additional ways to logistically support one another and just a bunch of things. And they were really, really good conversations,” added Austin added.

Regarding India-US working together to fight Chinese aggression, Austin said, “I think – I think we will continue to work with like-minded countries as we work with India. We work with Australia, Japan and others in the region together to ensure this. ” that we preserve the freedom of navigation that we do – we are doing the right things to promote peace and stability in the region, and that we really work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region. “The US Secretary of Defense stated the Indian agreement with Russia to purchase the S-400 missile defense system:” No S-400 system has been delivered. So this conversation is not about sanctions was discussed. “Austin talked about engaging with a multilateral group like the Quadruple Security Dialogue (Quad) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) a lot, and if you just look at the countries as a whole. If you look at Australia, India, Japan and us , you know that we are genuinely interested in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, we are interested in being able to navigate the seas, fly the skies and international space, and maintain that level of flexibility “Well, if you look at the fact that India and we are the greatest democracies in the world.” There are clearly some common values ​​there that we will continue to work on – we can build on them, and build on them in the economic interest. So there are a number of things that we can and will work on, he added.

While responding about expanding Quad to include countries like South Korea and Australia that are becoming permanent members of the Malabar exercise, he said, “I – in our view, we are always ready to work with countries that share our values ​​and goals and aspirations. Whether or not these countries choose to align with the United States and others is up to them. ”He also discussed mutual agreements to improve interoperability, more exercises, and frequent exchanges in the Indo-Pacific to build big, bigger Ability.

The Indo-Pacific region is largely considered to be an area that encompasses the Indian Ocean as well as the western and central Pacific, including the South China Sea. China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to penetrate the Indian Ocean have challenged the established rules-based system.

Austin, who arrived in Delhi earlier on Friday, is on a three-day official visit to the country. It is the first time a top Biden administration official has visited India. (ANI)

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