Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Mattis likely to push India on troops - Today's Paper

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis To Visit India Meet PM Modi Mattis likely to push India on troops - Today's Paper
Lance Thomas | 27 September, 2017, 00:16

US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis, arrived in New Delhi on Monday to escalate proposed sale of US military hardware to India, including Sea Guardian drones and F-16 combat aircraft.

Meanwhile Mr Mattis is the first high-ranking official of the Trump administration to visit India and the U.S. has been wanting Indian military presence in Afghanistan. Both governments also remain concerned over growing Chinese aggression. India has made a decision to take up 116 "high impact community developmental projects" in 31 provinces of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, during his announcement of the new Afghan policy, Trump was particularly critical of Pakistan as he demanded change.

India's push for upgrading its defence is in light of the twin threats it faces from Pakistan and China. "But that will have to change, and that will change immediately".

New Delhi will also enhance its efforts to train Afghan soldiers in counterterrorism and help build its police forces, Sitharaman said.

There can be no tolerance to terrorist safe havens.

Mattis also found common ground with Sitharaman on what they say is Pakistan's support for militant groups in Afghanistan. Increased Indo-US defence cooperation should put a stop to such trouble. India and the United States have strong cooperation in this area. The deal is still in the works.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the United States wants to resolve the standoff with North Korea diplomatically and is focused on denuclearizing Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

India and the USA on Tuesday discussed deepening defence ties and enhancing trade and technology cooperation, with Washington expressing interest in expanding maritime security engagement amid China's growing aggression in South China sea.

While details are sketchy, some headway seems to have been made.

Mattis will be engaging with his Indian interlocutors on how to synergize USA and Indian efforts in stabilizing Afghanistan.

The visit comes months after PM Modi's visit to Washington in June this year.

The four-day trip marks the first time a cabinet member from the current administration has visited India, where Mattis will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and newly appointed Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

As regards Pakistan, she said India and USA appreciated the importance of making accountable those who use terrorism as a state policy and stressed the need for dismantling the terrorist infrastructure.

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