Rajnath speaks to US counterpart Austin on Afghanistan ahead of Quad Summit
New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday spoke with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin on the situation unfolding in Afghanistan and India-US defence cooperation. The conversation over phone came ahead of the Quad Summit to be held in Washington on September 24.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
India’s 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 are expected to attend.
The discussion between Singh and Austin on the Afghanistan situation came after India and Australia insisted Afghanistan must not become a safe haven for terrorists, or be used as a base for attacks on other nations, during the inaugural India-Australia 2+2 dialogue of defence and foreign ministers that concluded on September 11.
India and Australia had called for steps to ensure an inclusive governing structure in Kabul and safe departure of people wishing to leave the war-torn country.