President Joseph Biden's Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin Likely To Visit India Later This Month
US President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin Likely To Visit India Later This Month46th United States president Joe Biden (Source: Twitter)

In what would be the first in-person visit by any member of President Joseph Biden's administration in the United States (US), Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III is expected to visit India later this month, reports Asian News International (ANI).

Before this, Austin had engaged with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh over a telephonic conversation in January during which he had emphasised Washington's commitment to the Major Defence Partnership with New Delhi.

Austin had then emphasised that the bilateral relationship was built upon shared values and a common interest in ensuring that the Indo-Pacific region remains free and open.

It should be noted that Austin's expected visit to India comes at a time when the leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) grouping - Japan, India, Australia and the US - are planning to hold a teleconference as early as mid-March.

In February, following President Biden's maiden conversation with Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi since taking over the helm of affairs in Washington, the White House had said that the leaders would work towards "a stronger regional architecture through the Quad".

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