Defense chief set to visit India Sunday

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 24, 2017

This will be a visit "to underscore the enduring US commitment to strategic partner India, " the US Defence Department said in a statement issued here by the US Embassy. "The secretary will also express US' appreciation for India's important contributions toward Afghanistan's democracy, stability, prosperity, and security".

Mattis will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the India Gate, meet Sitharaman, and also Prime Minister Modi.

This is the first visit by a cabinet-level official to India under the Trump administration.

Mattis' visit to India comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, held a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meeting here.

Mattis and Indian counterpart Sitharaman will discuss on issues ranging from counter-terrorism, maritime, regional and global matters.

The new strategy should address common security challenges; the role of U.S. partners and allies in the U.S. -India defense relationship; the role of the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI); how to advance the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation; and the role of joint exercises, operations, patrols and mutual defense planning, according to the legislation.

Modi and President Donald Trump had announced a two plus two strategic and defence dialogue between the two countries at the White House in June after the India-US summit.

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