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New Delhi : Dr Mark T. Esper, Secretary of Defence of the United States of America, is visiting India for the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting. On October 26, 2020, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had a bilateral meeting with him in South Block, New Delhi.

The two ministers reviewed bilateral defence co-operation spanning military to military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues, and also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward, according to a PIB release.

Both the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the close engagements between the respective Armed Forces. They discussed potential new areas of cooperation, both at Service to Service level and at the joint level. They called for continuation of existing defence dialogue mechanisms during the pandemic, at all levels, particularly the Military Cooperation Group (MCG). They also discussed requirements of expanding deployments of liaison officers.

The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement on BECA will be signed during the visit.  US Secretary of Defence welcomed Australia’s participation in the exercise MALABAR 2020.

Rajnath elaborated on the initiatives under the ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT to encourage investments in the defence industry in India and invited US companies to avail of the liberalised policies and the favorable Defence Industry ecosystem in India.