Rajnath, US defense secretary discuss Afghanistan situation

Rajnath, US defense secretary discuss Afghanistan situation

India News

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to his US counterpart, Lloyd Austin, on Monday over the phone on the situation in Afghanistan – continuing a series of talks that New Delhi has held with several nations since Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15.

Soon after the conversation, Singh tweeted that he had a “warm telephone conversation” with US Defence Secretary 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.”The Defence Ministry said in a statement that Austin had made the call to Singh on Monday evening.

“Both the leaders discussed bilateral and regional matters, including developments in Afghanistan. They discussed defence cooperation and looked forward to working closely.”

The two leaders also spoke about the evacuation of people from Kabul. In the immediate days after the Taliban took control of Kabul, India had struggled to bring its embassy staff and other citizens home. It was after speaking to officials in the US, which had taken over the control of the airport in Kabul, that India was able to run its special evacuation flights.

The ministry said on Monday that Singh and Austin “exchanged views about combating terrorism in the region” and 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”.

Earlier this month, CIA chief William Burns and Russian Secretary of the Security Council General Nikolay Patrushev were in Delhi to discuss the Afghanistan situation.

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