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NEW YORK: India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra and US Defence Under Secretary Colin Kahl have explored boosting India’s defence industry, according to Pentagon spokesperson David Hendon.

At their meeting in Washington on Tuesday, they discussed “accelerating India’s indigenous defence production through bilateral defence industrial cooperation and partnership in emerging defence domains”, Hendon said in a readout of the talks.

“Kahl reaffirmed the importance of the US-India Major Defence Partnership to shaping the future of the Indo-Pacific, ” he said.

Kahl tweeted” “We discussed a range of bilateral initiatives to advance the US-India defence partnership and promote a Free and Open Indo Pacific.”

Kwatra’s visit to Washington comes ahead of the 2+2 Ministerial meeting of Union Ministers S. Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh with US Secretaries Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin in New Delhi next month.

Kwatra met Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Monday.

Hendon said Kwatra and Kahl “discussed initiatives to advance bilateral defence cooperation” ahead of the next 2+2 meeting.

They also exchanged views on developments related to mutual security interests, including in the Indian Ocean Region and Europe, he said.

The range of topics they discussed included “deepening Navy-to-Navy cooperation, particularly in the undersea domain, (and) expanding information sharing and logistics cooperation to facilitate operational coordination between the US and Indian militaries”, Hendon added.

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