AUKUS won’t impact Quad, US tells India | India News


NEW DELHI: The United States informed India on Monday of its new trilateral AUKUS Military pact with the United Kingdom and Australia to face the challenges posed by China in the Indo-Pacific, highlighting that it will not detract from either bilateral cooperation with New Delhi or multilateral ones such as the ‘Quad’.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin told Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, while briefing him on AUKUS in a phone conversation Monday night, that Washington will continue to cooperate closely with New Delhi in multilateral forums as before. . “Singh, in turn, said that India was studying the AUKUS deal,” said a source.
Austin’s call comes just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for the first in-person Quad Summit of the leaders of the US, India, Australia and Japan on September 24.
Singh also conveyed India’s deep concern about the huge number of newer American weapons, ranging from Humvees and helicopters to drones, night vision equipment and assault rifles, left in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Both leaders discussed bilateral and regional issues, including the events in Afghanistan. They spoke of defense cooperation and hoped to work closely together, ”said a statement from the Defense Ministry.
Singh and Austin also exchanged views on fighting terrorism in the region. 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, ”he added.
In the Indo-Pacific, there are some concerns that AUKUS could dilute the planned strategic cooperation in the Quad, relegating the quadrilateral grouping to issues such as climate change, Covid-19 vaccines and the like.
Under AUKUS, Australia will get the means to build at least eight nuclear-powered attack submarines or SSNs (other than SSBNs, which are nuclear-powered and armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles) to counter China’s naval expansion in the continent. Indo-Pacific.
By the way, the United States has refused over the years to discuss nuclear reactor propulsion technology for submarines or aircraft carriers with India.

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