Written byAakanksha Raghuvanshi
Commencing her five-day official visit to the United States, Union Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday asserted that New Delhi sees the US as an important partner in the field of defense.
During her bilateral talks with the US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon, Sitharaman said mutual trust and confidence in defense partnership between the two countries were growing.
The Defense Minister added that she was encouraged by the importance attached to the India-US defense relationship in the new US National Security Strategy.
"A strong foundation has been laid for the India-US defense relationship over the years. India sees the US as an important partner in defense," Sitharaman said, adding that the two countries have a good military to military cooperation.
Sitharaman said India and US also have good defense consultations, scientific collaborations and co-production, co-development, and industry collaboration. Exuding confidence that the bilateral talks would accord greater momentum to the dialogue and partnership between the two, 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.
Sitharaman said Trump administration's responsiveness is also indicative of the desire and the effort to have an even more robust relationship than before, adding, "Especially over the past three to four years, we have made considerable progress. Our relations enjoy strong political and popular support."
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