The United States on Friday reaffirmed its “firm commitment” to India’s leadership in Indo-Pacific – a region where it is trying to build a coalition of democratic nations to contain the hegemonic aspirations of China.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to his US counterpart Mark T Esper over phone on Friday; even as American President Donald Trump’s recent offer to mediate between India and China to resolve the boundary dispute got a cold shoulder from New Delhi.
Esper and Singh “discussed a range of regional security issues”, according to a press-release issued by the Department of Defence of the US Government in Washington D.C. It quoted the US Defence Secretary reiterating his “firm commitment” to India’s leadership across the Indo-Pacific.
The press-release issued by the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India in New Delhi too stated that Singh and Esper exchanged views on “regional developments of shared security interest”.
Neither New Delhi nor Washington D.C. however directly referred to India-China border tension or elaborated whether the issue came up for discussion between Defence Minister and his US counterpart.
Esper conveyed to Singh his condolences regarding the recent loss of life in West Bengal due to Cyclone Amphan. They also discussed ongoing cooperation to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Esper reiterated his support for a strong and enduring US-India defense partnership and the two leaders discussed ways to advance several important bilateral initiatives. They reviewed progress on bilateral defence cooperation arrangements and expressed commitment to further promote India-US defence partnership.