USA defence chief in India to boost military ties

26 Сентября, 2017, 01:41 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • US Defence Secy. Jim Mattis to visit India next week

According to an official statement from the Pentagon, Mattis will look to "underscore the enduring U.S. commitment to strategic partner India".

Likely to the dismay of Islamabad, Mattis kicked off his South Asia trip on Monday in the Indian capital.

Amid rising disagreements with its neighbours and boost to defence, speculations suggest that India might take a dig and sign some deals to bag American fighter jets and drones during the US Defence Secretary James Mattis' India visit. "Plus, we have a host of other issues to work with more vigour as well, as we look toward the future", he said.

India has long vied with Pakistan for influence in Afghanistan.

In 2016 the United States designated India a "Major Defence Partner" with the aim of increasing military cooperation and cutting red tape to ease defence deals.

"India, from our perspective, is clearly a pillar of regional stability and security", he added. "We share a common vision for a peaceful and prosperous vision in the Indo-Pacific region, one thats based on that strong, rules-based global order, and the peaceful resolution of disputes and territorial integrity", he said.

While praising India's support for Afghanistan when announcing his strategy, President Trump blasted Pakistan for harboring jihadists who are fighting and killing USA troops in their allies across the border in Afghanistan, an accusation that Islamabad has long denied.

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During his two-day visit, from September 26.to September 28, the U.S Defence Secretary will also participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the India Gate.

Why are Pakistan and China concerned over the visit of James Mattis to India?

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.

"On the one hand ... we want [Pakistan] to end relationships with these militant groups, and on the other hand we want the Indians to do more in Afghanistan, which will trigger the Pakistanis", she told VOA.

Besides the Pentagon, Kabul and New Delhi have repeatedly accused Pakistan of serving as a safe haven for jihadists operating in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the South Asian region, including India.

Delhi and Washington share concerns about Afghanistan, with Trump announcing a new strategy for the war-torn country last month which cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more U.S. troops. Therefore, this platform will come as a military and diplomatic message for everyone. This should lead to a larger defence industry in India, which could be a cause for concern for both Pakistan and China.

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