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US Defence Secretary has telephonic conversation with Rajnath, appreciates India's position on J-K

ANI | Updated: Aug 20, 2019 21:03 IST


New Delhi [India], Aug 20 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held telephonic conversation with US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper on Tuesday in which Esper appreciated India's position that the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir were an internal matter of India and hoped that any issue between India and Pakistan will be resolved bilaterally.
Rajnath Singh raised the issue of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan affecting India and appreciated the US support for India's effort to maintain peace and stability in the region.
He said issues relating to Article 370 were an internal matter of India which were aimed at improving growth and economic development, democracy and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The conversation lasted for nearly 30 minutes with the two ministers expressing hope to meet in the near future.
A Defence Ministry statement said Singh invited the US companies to invest in the Indian defence manufacturing sector under the 'Make in India' programme.
"Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh had a telephonic conversation with US Secretary of Defence Dr Mark T. Esper today. Raksha Mantri congratulated Dr. Esper on his appointment," the statement said.
"US Secretary of Defence appreciated India's position that the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir are an internal matter of India. He hoped that any issue between India and Pakistan will be resolved bilaterally," it added.
The government had this month repealed Article 370 which gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir and reoraganised the state into two Union Territories. Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the issues.
The two ministers expressed happiness at the "significant progress in bilateral defence co-operation" and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and deepen the relations further.
They exchanged views on a range of issues related to military-to-military co-operation, defence policy, R&D co-operation, defence trade, technology and industrial co-operation.
They also expressed satisfaction on the first tri-service joint exercise to be held later this year and steps taken to operationalize agreements like LEMOA ( Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement) and COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement).
Both the Ministers looked forward to the 2+2 dialogue later this year in the US.
The conversation took place a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic talk with US President Donald Trump. (ANI)

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