USA defence secretary Jim Mattis arrives in Delhi

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis To Visit India Meet PM Modi

Indian Ambassador to United States Navtej Sarna said that the India-U.S. relationship have been transformed into a global partnership.

"From Tuesday, September 26.to September 28, Secretary Mattis visits India, where he will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the India Gate and will meet with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi", the Defence Department said.

Pentagon, in a statement on Saturday, said, "The United States views India as a valued and influential partner, with broad mutual interests extending well beyond South Asia".

The U.S. -India defense cooperation has steadily expanded in recent years, underpinned by common objectives and goals in the region, the secretary said, adding that such cooperation will benefit both economies while reducing any legacy or trust issues between the two democracies.

Mattis "will express US appreciation for India's important contributions toward Afghanistan's democracy, stability, prosperity, and security", the Pentagon said. This is the first Cabinet-level visit to India under the Trump administration.

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What was left unsaid in the Pentagon release was the possible inking of deals between the two countries.

According to NDTV sources, "Sea Guardian is top of Secretary Mattis' agenda". The deal could be worth $2 billion.

While no specific defence trade deal is likely to be announced during Mattis' India visit, the sources said there would be discussions on two specific proposals of F-16 and F- 18A under Modi's Make in India campaign, along with efforts to identify new projects under the ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiatives (DTTI). Lockheed Martin has struck a partnership with Tata Group to set up a production line for F-16s in India.This will close the gap of the desired requirement of at least 200 such jets by the Indian Air Force.

It is here that the unarmed drones will come in handy: They should help India monitor its surrounding water bodies for any and all Chinese threats.

His visit to India and likely discussions on the situation in Afghanistan takes place amid concerns by Pakistan regarding the growing role of India in Afghanistan. Increased Indo-US defence cooperation should put a stop to such trouble.

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