Austin will be visiting India from March 19-21, the first official visit by a top official in US President Joe Biden administration to New Delhi, during which he will be meeting top political and military leadership of our country.
“The American Defence Secretary and national security advisor Ajit Doval are likely to meet on Friday itself during which they are expected to set the stage for the visit by discussing all important security issues including China,” news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.
The discussions between the US Defence Secretary and NSA Doval will be the first major dialogue between the two countries during the trip.
India and the US have been working even more closely following the Chinese incursion attempts to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh since April-May last year.
The US also helped India with timely defence equipment supplies during the border conflict, apart from sharing critical satellite feed and intelligence inputs.
During the US defence secretary’s visit, both countries are expected to discuss ways to further boost bilateral defence cooperation and exchange ideas on regional security challenges in maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region.
Afghanistan and India’s role there might also be discussed during the talks.
Doval played a key role in the ongoing ceasefire agreements between India and Pakistan, by holding discussions at different levels.