Mat­tis, Modi dis­cuss Indo-U.S. co­op­er­a­tion

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Modi ap­pre­ci­ated the close en­gage­ment be­tween In­dia and the U.S. on re­gional and global is­sues of mu­tual con­cern, ac­cord­ing to a PMO state­ment

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

NEW DELHI: En­hanced co­op­er­a­tion be­tween In­dia and the U.S., re­gion­ally and glob­ally, in pur­su­ing shared pri­or­i­ties for peace, sta­bil­ity and com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism were dis­cussed when vis­it­ing Sec­re­tary of De­fence James Mat­tis met Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi here on Tues­day.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Modi ap­pre­ci­ated the close en­gage­ment be­tween In­dia and the U.S. on re­gional and global is­sues of mu­tual con­cern, ac­cord­ing to a PMO state­ment. The prime min­is­ter re­called his “wide-rang­ing, can­did, and fruit­ful dis­cus­sions” with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump dur­ing his visit to the US in June this year, the state­ment said.

Dur­ing that meet­ing be­tween Modi and Trump, both sides had reaf­firmed their re­solve to fur­ther de­velop their strong strate­gic part­ner­ship. Mat­tis briefed the prime min­is­ter on the progress in ad­vanc­ing the bi­lat­eral agenda and im­ple­ment­ing the de­ci­sions taken dur­ing that visit, the state­ment said.

Mean­while, In­dia on Tues­day ruled out any troop con­tri­bu­tion in Afghanistan and said it will con­tinue to pro­vide de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance to the war-torn coun­try.

This was stated by De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man af­ter her talks with her U.S. coun­ter­part James Mat­tis dur­ing which they dis­cussed key bi­lat­eral, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues, in­clud­ing ter­ror­ism em­a­nat­ing from across the bor­der.

Amid the ris­ing ten­sions due to the re­cent mis­sile tests by North Korea and grow­ing Chi­nese as­sertive­ness in the South China Sea, the two sides also de­lib­er­ated upon ways to deepen mar­itime se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion in the In­doPa­cific re­gion.

Re­fer­ring to their dis­cus­sion on Afghanistan, Sithara­man said they had a use­ful in­ter­ac­tion on how the two coun­tries could strengthen co­op­er­a­tion bi­lat­er­ally as well as with the Afghan gov­ern­ment in pur­suit of the com­mon ob­jec­tive of a peace­ful, demo­cratic, sta­ble and pros­per­ous Afghanistan.

She said In­dia has built dams, hos­pi­tals and it will con­tinue pro­vid­ing de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance to the war-torn coun­try.

“We give them fa­cil­i­ties in our hos­pi­tals both for those who are wounded on field and for civil­ians. Those as­sis­tances for med­i­cal help will con­tinue...We shall ex­pand if nec­es­sary. How­ever, of course, we have made it clear that there shall not be boots from In­dia on the ground,” she said.

Sithara­man made the re­marks while re­ply­ing to a ques­tion dur­ing a joint press brief­ing with Mat­tis on whether In­dia will con­trib­ute troops in Afghanistan.

In­dia’s po­si­tion as­sumes sig­nif­i­cance given that un­der the new Trump pol­icy, the U.S. wants greater par­tic­i­pa­tion by In­dia to con­trib­ute more in the war-torn na­tion. Full story @ time­so­fo­man.com/world

- PTI/PIB

DI­A­LOGUE: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi with U.S. De­fence Sec­re­tary, Jim Mat­tis in a meet­ing in New Delhi on Tues­day.

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