US Defence Secretary calls Rajnath Singh, Afghanistan discussed

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (UNI) US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin made a telephonic call to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and discussed the Afghanistan situation and bilateral defence cooperation, the defence ministry said.

A statement from the defence ministry said both the leaders discussed bilateral and regional matters, including developments in Afghanistan. They also appreciated the recent cooperation between the two countries in evacuating people from the war torn country, which was taken over by Taliban.

“They discussed defence cooperation and looked forward to working closely,” the statement said.

Singh and Secretary Austin also exchanged views about combating terrorism in the region.

“Both sides appreciated the mutual cooperation in the recent evacuation operations in Afghanistan and agreed to remain in regular contact in view of the evolving situation,” the statement added.

Had a warm telephone conversation with United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin @SecDef Mr Lloyd Austin. We discussed issues pertaining to bilateral defence cooperation & regional matters including situation in Afghanistan. We agreed to continue the useful dialogue & look forward to strengthening the partnership further, Singh said.

Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban on August 15, after which commercial air space in the country was shut. The US, which had taken over the control of the airport in Kabul, helped India in evacuating its citizens, including embassy staff.

India has maintained it is watching the developments in Afghanistan, and taking measures according to the changing security situation in the region.

UNI

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