On Sitharaman visit to command, US affirms defence partnership
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)