New Delhi: Newly appointed US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be visiting India later this month, aiming at further enhancing the bilateral defence ties between the two countries. 

This will be the first in-person official visit of any top Biden administration to New Delhi. In January, the new administration under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took charge in Washington. 

Austin is scheduled to meet with his counterpart Rajnath Singh to discuss regional and global issues. They will also be discussing the Indo-Pacific region.

His visit would be a part of his larger visit to Indo-Pacific countries and it also comes as work is in progress for the Quad leadership meeting. The meet will be attended by US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Indian PM Narendra Modi, and Japan's Yoshihide Suga this month. 

“I am looking forward to that first gathering of quad leaders. It will be the first-ever gathering of quad leaders. I already had bilateral discussions with Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga, the PM of Japan and PM of India,” Australian PM Scott Morrison had confirmed about the meet. 

India and the US share close defence cooperation with Washington authorising over $20 billion in defence sales to India.