India sees US as an important partner in the field of Defence : Nirmala Sitharaman
Source :NewsBharati Date :04-Dec-2018
Washinton, December 4: India and the US have agreed to accelerate defence and national security ties. The agreement was reached during the meeting between the defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the US counterpart James Mattis in Washingtod. Sithraman is on the five day visit to US for the bilateral meeting with Mattis.
Sitharaman said that New Delhi sees US as an important partner in the field of Defence and that she was encouraged by the importance attached to the India US defence relationship in the new US national security strategy. At the delegation level meeting, she asserted that mutual trust and confidence in defence partnership between the two countries is growing.
Sitharaman began her official visit to the US by visiting the foggy bottom headquarters of the state department, where she signed on the condolence on the former US president George W Bush. From there she went to 642 acres land of Arlington national cemetery where she laid at the tomb of soldiers. “Sitharaman’s presence has made it clear that India-US relations were not defined by empty words but by the human aspect of partnership.”, said James Mattis.
“The recent meetings between the two countries 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.”, Sitharaman said during the meeting.
“Especially over the past three to four years, we have made considerable progress. Our relations, based on common democratic values, enjoy strong political and popular support in both countries. There's a growing mutual trust and also the confidence in defence partnership, which augurs very well for the future”, she added.
Although this being Sitharaman’s first trip to Washington DC, the duo leaders have met four times before, this year. Mattis said he hammers US’s appreciation for India’s leadership as a stabilising force in pursuit of promoting peace and security across the region and the globe.
Mattis appeared confident upon resolving the pending CAATSA sanctions on India, deciding to buy the multi-billion dollar S-400 missiles defence system from Russia. “India needs a presidential waiver to get around a punitive CAATSA sanctions.”, he said.
Sitharaman now travels to California to visit the defence innovation unit of the department of the US and the Indo-Pacific command headquarters in Huawai. Ahead in the meeting, Mattis pointed to Pakistan saying, “40 years is enough of time for every responsible nation to get on board with the South Asia peace process. It is time for everyone to support the efforts of UN, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afganistan in this regard.”