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Rajnath speaks with US defense secretary, shares India's concerns over development in Gulf region

ANI  |  Asia 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday informed India's concerns regarding the recent developments in the middle eastern to US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday.

During the telephonic conversation, Esper briefed Singh about recent incidents in the Gulf region, which resulted in the escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States

"Had a telephonic conversation with the US Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper. We expressed firm resolve to strengthen the bilateral defence cooperation. He also briefed me about the recent developments in the Gulf Region. I shared India's concerns and interests in the region," Singh tweeted.

The tensions between Iran and United States shot up after the latter killed Iranian Quds Force chief Qaseem Soleiman. In the retaliation, Iran launched over 20 missiles over US targets in Iraq.

Both the sides have accused each other for the escalation. In the aftermath of the US strike, Trump administration has dialled up various leaders in the to defend the strike that claimed the life of Soleimani.

Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it is closely monitoring the situation in the Gulf region in the wake of rising tension between the United States and Iran due to the killing of the Iranian general in Iraq and hoped for the situation to de-escalate as quickly as possible.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a weekly briefing here, "We are closely monitoring the situation (in the region) which is developing rapidly. As we have articulated in the past, peace, security and stability in the region is of utmost importance to us. We have important interests in the region. We would like the situation to de-escalate as quickly as possible,"

On Thursday, Esper held talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa regarding the situation.

The tensions between Tehran and Washington have persisted since 2018 when Trump unilaterally announced that the US is not a part of 2015 nuclear deal which was brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Following the withdrawal from the deal, the United States has imposed a number of sanctions against Iran to force the country to renegotiate the deal. The sanctions have crippled the Iranian economy, however, the country refused to bog down to US pressure and started to do away with the terms of the deal.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 10 2020. 04:31 IST