On Sithara­man visit to com­mand, US af­firms de­fence part­ner­ship

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - W RLD - Sid­hant Sibal

New Delhi: In a first, In­dia’s De­fence Minister Nir­mala Sithara­man vis­ited US Indo-Pa­cific com­mand in Hawaii. The visit comes months af­ter US changed the name of the Pa­cific com­mand, its largest com­mand in the world, to Indo-Pa­cific com­mand.

She was hosted by Com­man­der of US Indo-Pa­cific Com­mand Adm Phil David­son who said, “Our two demo­cratic na­tions are committed to up­hold­ing a rules-based in­ter­na­tional or­der, which has brought decades of peace, stability, and pros­per­ity.

We are global part­ners on de­fence and se­cu­rity and this ex­em­pli­fies our mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion to as­sure a Free and Open Indo-Pa­cific.”

De­fence Minister also vis­ited the his­toric Pearl Har­bour and boarded US Guided Mis­sile De­stroyer USS Michael Mur­phy. The visit co­in­cided with the 77th an­niver­sary of the 1941 at­tack on pearl har­bour by Ja­panese forces, the at­tack which is con­sid­ered a turn­ing point in World War II and even­tu­ally led to the de­feat of Ja­panese forces in the re­gion. Nir­mala Sithara­man is

on an of­fi­cial visit to US from 2-7 De­cem­ber, at the in­vi­ta­tion of US Sec­re­tary of De­fence James Mat­tis.

The visit by the de­fence minister comes at a time when In­dia and US have been en­gag­ing

to ex­pand the Indo-Pa­cific con­cept. At the Shangri La di­a­logue in Sin­ga­pore, PM Modi said that Indo Pa­cific is in­clu­sive and “In­dia’s vi­sion for the Indo-Pa­cific Re­gion is a pos­i­tive one”.

De­fence Minister Nir­mala Sithara­man at the US Indo-Pa­cific Com­mand in Hawaii with Com­man­der of US Indo-Pa­cific Com­mand Adm Phil David­son (R)

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