USA review bilateral defense cooperation

Top US Defence Official To Visit'Valued Ally India Hold Talks With PM Modi

India on Tuesday ruled out deploying troops in Afghanistan but reiterated its participation in the war-torn country's development activities.

The talks with Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman covered ways to enhance and complement efforts to restore security in Afghanistan as Washington steps up its own military campaign against Taliban insurgents who have gained ground.

While the U.S. defence secretary appreciated India's role in promoting democracy, stability and security in conflict-ridden Afghanistan, Ms Sitharaman ruled out the possibility of sending Indian troops to Afghanistan, reported news agency PTI.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took steps to reinforce a quickly growing defense partnership with India on Tuesday, declaring the relationship has "never been stronger".

This is likely to be a $2 billion deal that was announced during Modi's visit to the USA earlier this year and it requires the Trump Administration to overcome a "presumption of denial" under its obligations as a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

The India-US bilateral meet is being held at a time when tension between US and North Korea are on the rise. Cooperation in defence equipment grew steadily over past years and the USA is now a leading state-of-the-art defence equipment supplier to India, Sitharaman said.

"India started to provide training to Afghan police officers and army cadets to build its internal security".

"The very same forces which find safe haven in Pakistan have been the ones who have hit NY as much as Mumbai", Sitharaman said.

"The secretary will emphasize that the United States views, India as a valued and influential partner, with broad mutual interests extending well beyond South Asia", the defense department said in a press release.

All this could be bad news for Pakistan, which has made several failed attempts to paint India in bad light in front of the global community, possibly to brush under the carpet its own failure to deal with terrorism on its own soil.

According to the local media reports, Mattis is expected to arrive in New Delhi late on Monday. We look forward to sharing some of our most advanced defence technologies through the defense technology and trade initiative.

On his part, Mattis said there can be "no tolerance to terrorism safe havens".

"Not only will this platform enhance India's capabilities in the areas of maritime domain awareness and security, but the interoperability with one of the U.S.'s most important strategic partners will contribute to security across the region".

Often India-US relations have suffered because of external factors like India's dealings with Russian Federation or US cutting down on visa for software professionals.

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