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US Defence Secretary to visit India as part of Indo-Pacific outreach

US defence secretary Lloyd J. Austin will visit India as part of his Indo-Pacific tour

US Defence Secretary Lloyd J.Austin is set to visit India next month as part of Washington’s Indo-Pacific outreach.

Austin is routing his visit to India following travels to Japan and Singapore. He will also visit France, says a US Department of Defence statement.

The readout pointed out that Secretary Austin will travel to Tokyo to meet with Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada and other senior leaders, and visit U.S. troops stationed in Japan. Austin’s visit comes as  United States and Japan step out to  modernise Alliance capabilities, optimise U.S. force posture, and build links with like-minded partners following the historic U.S.-Japan “2+2” Ministerial meeting earlier this year.

From there, Austin will head for Singapore where he will deliver plenary remarks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 20th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. On the margins of the Dialogue, he  will meet with key leaders to advance U.S. defence partnerships across the region in support of Washington’s shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, anchored in ASEAN centrality.

After Singapore, the US defence secretary will visit New Delhi, where he will meet with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders. According to the statement, the United States and India continue to modernise the U.S.-India Major Defence Partnership. This visit provides an opportunity to accelerate new defence innovation and industrial cooperation initiatives and drive ongoing efforts to expand operational cooperation between the U.S. and Indian militaries.

Secretary Austin will conclude his trip in France to participate in events commemorating the 79th anniversary of D-Day, and meet with French and United Kingdom defence leaders.

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