India is the third destination of Mr Austin’s three-nation tour, the first since the Joe Biden administration took charge earlier this year.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh exchanged elbow bumps, skipping the conventional handshake, as he met US Secretary of Defence, General Lloyd Austin in New Delhi today.
Shortly afterwards, the two leaders held wide-ranging talks focusing on further expansion of bilateral strategic ties, evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region and challenges of terrorism. All the attendees were seen wearing face masks during the meeting.
The talks also included wide-ranging defence cooperation, information-sharing in emerging areas, and mutual logistical support, the statement said.
India is the third destination of Mr Austin’s three-nation tour, the first since the Joe Biden administration took charge earlier this year. Mr Austin’s visit is seen as a reflection of the Joe Biden administration’s strong commitment to its relations with its close allies and partners in the region.
Fist bumps, elbow bumps and the traditional Namaste have emerged as popular forms of greeting among world leaders amid the pandemic.
Last month, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar was seen exchanging elbow bump with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid after he arrived on a two-day visit to the island nation.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Vice President Kamala Harris have also been pictured using elbow bumps in public.
This morning, India witnessed its highest daily-rise in nearly four months as the country recorded 40,953 new coronavirus infections, taking its tally to 1.15 crore. The country has been recording more than 20,000 cases since last week. Globally, more than 12 crore people have been affected worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago; 26 lakh have died.