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China build-up: Rajnath Singh speaks with US Defence Secretary over phone

Post rejection of the mediation request of US President Donald Trump by both New Delhi and Beijing US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper called upon India Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh speaks with US Defence Secretary over phone, reviews progress on bilateral defence cooperation arrangements

New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh and United State's defence secretary Mark T Esper spoke to each other on Friday evening, mentioned a press release issued by Ministry of Defence. It is believed that both the counterparts discussed the situation amid ongoing India-China border row and the Chinese build-up on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The call between the defence heads of Indian and US happened at the request of the American side. It is pertinent to mention here that a few days back US President Donald Trump had said that he is willing to mediate between India and China. Later his proposal of mediation was squarely rejected by both New Delhi and Beijing. The American press note of the talks said, "Secretary Esper and Minister Singh discussed a range of regional security issues and the secretary expressed his firm commitment to India’s leadership across the Indo-Pacific". The Pentagon press note added, "Secretary Esper reiterated his support for a strong and enduring US-India defence partnership and the two leaders discussed ways to advance several important bilateral initiatives."

While the press release issued by Indian Defence Ministry said that "The two ministers reviewed progress on various bilateral defence cooperation arrangements and expressed their commitment to further promote our defence partnership. To this end, Raksha Mantri invited Secretary Esper to visit India at the earliest mutual convenience, which the latter accepted with pleasure".

The release further added that "Rajnath Singh appreciated Secretary Esper's condolence over lives lost in Eastern India during Cyclone Amphan recently, and briefed him on India’s relief efforts. The two Ministers also exchanged views on regional developments of a shared security interest".


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