New Delhi: At a time when there is tension between Iran and the US and are escalating following the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said he had a telephonic conversation with US Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper during which they discussed the evolving security situation in the Gulf region. Also Read - Iran-US Tension: ‘Closely Monitoring Matter, Want Situation to De-escalate Soon,’ Says MEA
As per updates, the Defence Minister conveyed to Esper about India’s stand in the Gulf region and how concerned New Delhi is over the escalating tension between Iran and the US. Also Read - Day After Iran Missile Attack, Two Rockets Hit Baghdad's Green Zone That Houses US Embassy
“We expressed firm resolve to strengthen the bilateral defence cooperation. He (Esper) also briefed me about the recent developments in the Gulf Region. I shared India’s concerns and interests in the region,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.
On the telephonic conversation, US Defence Secretary Esper briefed Rajnath Singh about recent developments in the Gulf region.
Earlier in the day, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar stated that India is closely monitoring the situation in the Gulf region following the escalating tension between Iran and US.
“We’re closely monitoring the situation. Peace, security and stability in the region are of utmost importance to us. We would like the situation to de-escalate as quickly as possible. We are talking to several stakeholders. The EAM has spoken to players in the region, Raveesh Kumar stated.
Prior to this, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday had a conversation with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, voicing India’s concerns over the escalation of tensions.
The statement from India comes after Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni said his country will welcome any peace initiative by India to de-escalate tensions with the US.
The tension between Iran and US heightened after the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian commander was killed in a US drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq last Friday.