In­dia sees US as an im­por­tant de­fence part­ner: Nir­mala

Evening Today - - NATION -

Wash­ing­ton: Com­menc­ing her five-day of­fi­cial visit to the United States, Union De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man on Mon­day as­serted that New Delhi sees the US as an im­por­tant part­ner in the field of de­fence.

In her re­marks at the start of her bi­lat­eral talks with the US De­fence Sec­re­tary James Mat­tis at the Pen­tagon, Sithara­man said mu­tual trust and con­fi­dence in de­fence part­ner­ship be­tween the two coun­tries were grow­ing. The de­fence min­is­ter added that she was en­cour­aged by the im­por­tance at­tached to the In­dia-US de­fence re­la­tion­ship in the new US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Strat­egy.

“A strong foun­da­tion has been laid for the In­dia-US de­fence re­la­tion­ship over the years. In­dia sees the US as an im­por­tant part­ner in de­fence,” Sithara­man said, adding that the two coun­tries have good mil­i­tary to mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion, de­fence con­sul­ta­tions, sci­en­tific col­lab­o­ra­tions and co-pro­duc­tion and code­vel­op­ment and in­dus­try col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Ex­ud­ing con­fi­dence that the bi­lat­eral talks would accord greater mo­men­tum to the di­a­logue and part­ner­ship be­tween the two coun­tries, she said the re­la­tion­ship con­tin­ued to be very strong. The re­cent meet­ings be­tween the two coun­tries, Sithara­man said, have un­der­scored their mu­tual de­sire to move pos­i­tively. The high-level ex­changes are an in­di­ca­tion of the depth and the qual­ity of bi­lat­eral ties as well as their mu­tual de­sire to work closely on a range of re­gional and global is­sues, she added.

Sithara­man ap­pre­ci­ated the re­spon­sive­ness of the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion to In­dia’s sen­si­tiv­i­ties. At the same time, it is also in­dica­tive of the de­sire and the ef­fort to have an even more ro­bust re­la­tion­ship than be­fore, she said.

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