Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, CDS General Bipin Rawat likely to visit US

By Times now

In the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States and his meetings with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, two important defence visits are likely.

Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar will be in the United States to meet senior US defence department officials. This will be the DPG or the Defence Policy Group meeting where the entire gamut of issues like exercises, arms transfers and information sharing are discussed. The meetings are on 8 October and Ajay Kumar is likely to meet US Undersecretary of Defence Colin Kahl.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, will be in the United States in a week and this will be after his visit to Russia. In the US, he will be meeting the chairman, joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley.

In Washington DC, the issues of cross-border terrorism, Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific, a euphemism for China, are likely to come up. Both countries want closer ties, but the AUKUS issue could also come up.

The other major meeting expected later this year is the 2+2 meeting where the Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meet their American counterparts secretary of state Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin.

The dates are yet to be decided, but both countries are in touch. India has pointed out that both ministers will have to be present during the winter session of Parliament, the dates for which are yet to be decided upon by Speaker Om Birla and Chairman of the Upper House Venkaiah Naidu. But, the meeting will certainly happen later in the year.

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