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Rajnath holds talks with UK's defence procurement minister

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday held talks with British Minister of Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin, focusing on bilateral cooperation in areas such as aviation and shipbuilding.

In the meeting, Singh welcomed the UK's announcement of an Open General Export License for India to facilitate industry-to-industry collaboration.

"Had a wonderful meeting with the UK Minister of Defence Procurement, Mr. Jeremy Quin. We discussed the opportunities available in areas pertaining to aviation, ship building and other defence industrial programmes for both the countries," Singh tweeted.

The talks between Singh and Quin took place days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson agreed on a new and expanded India-UK defence partnership.

"I welcome the UK's announcement of an Open General Export License to facilitate industry to industry collaboration between both the countries. We are looking forward to co-development and co-production with partner nations in the defence domain," Singh said.

During his visit to India last week, Johnson announced that the UK is creating an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) for India to "reduce bureaucracy and slashing delivery times" for defence procurement and that London will help New Delhi in the co-development of military hardware including indigenous production of fighter jets.

The new defence partnership between India and the UK was discussed in the meeting between Singh and Quin.

Separately, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar met Secretary, Department of Defence of Australia Greg Moriarty and discussed bilateral defence cooperation.

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