United States Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday landed in Delhi on Monday for his two days visit to India to strengthen defence ties between the two democratic countries.
Mattis visit is considered to take the India-US defence ties to the next level during. It is believed the discussion will largely be on F-16s and security situation in the Indo-Pacific region likely to dominate the agenda.
Mattis visit to India is the first visit by any member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet. He is to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Mattis told reporters on his flight that the trip will be a historic opportunity for two democracies at a time of strategic convergence.
On being asked how he would balance the India-Pakistan dynamics Mattis said that relationships US is pursuing with India is ‘not to the exclusion of other countries.’
He further said, "India is clearly a pillar of regional stability and security: we share a common vision for a peaceful and prosperous future in the Indo-Pacific region."
The US defence secretary also told the media that stronger relation between India and United Stated should not affect relations with neighbours such as Pakistan.
According to people in the MHA no specific defence trade deal is likely to be announced during Mattis’ visit but efforts will be made to identify new projects under the ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiatives (DTTI) under PM Modi’s flagship program ‘Make in India.’
Prior leaving Pentagon, Matiss met Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna at the Pentagon.
(With agency inputs)