Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday spoke to his US counterpart Lloyd Austin over the telephone with the discussion focusing on the situation unfolding in Afghanistan and issues connected to bilateral defence cooperation. The conversation came days ahead of the Quad Summit to be held in Washington on September 24.
“We discussed issues pertaining to bilateral defence cooperation & regional matters including the situation in Afghanistan. We agreed to continue the useful dialogue & look forward to strengthening the partnership further,” Singh wrote on Twitter.
The Indian security establishment is concerned about terrorist activity in Afghanistan spilling over into the country via Pakistan after the Taliban takeover.
US President Joe Biden is hosting the Quad summit at the White House on September 24 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japan’s Yoshihide Suga and Australia’s Scott Morrison.
The discussion between Singh and Austin on the Afghanistan situation also came days after India and Australia insisted Afghanistan’s soil must not become a safe haven for terrorists or be used for attacks on other nations during the inaugural India-Australia 2+2 dialogue of defence and foreign ministers that concluded on September 11.