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US-India defence partnership based on strong foundation : Nirmala


Agencies, Washington India's Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who began her five-day official visit to the US on Monday, has said the bilateral talks would accord greater momentum to the dialogue and partnership between the two countries. In her remarks at the start of her bilateral talks with US Defence Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon, the Indian Defece Minister said mutual trust and confidence in defence partnership between the two countries were growing. She added that India considered the US an important partner in defence and the relationship between the two continued was very strong. The defence minister said she was encouraged by the importance attached to the India-US defence relationship in the new US National Security Strategy. "A strong foundation has been laid for the India-US defence relationship over the years. India sees the US as an important partner in defence," Ms Sitharaman said. Ms Sitharaman said the two countries have good military-to-military cooperation, defence consultations, scientific collaborations and co-production and co-development and industry collaboration. "The recent meetings between the two countries, Ms Sitharaman said, have underscored their mutual desire to move positively," she ffurther said. "Especially over the past three to four years, we have made considerable progress. Our relations, based on common democratic values, enjoy strong political and popular support in both countries. There's a growing mutual trust and also the confidence in defence partnership, which augurs very well for the future," Ms Sitharaman pointed out.

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