United States Defense Secretary James Mattis met India’s Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Dec. 3, during her official visit to the U.S. from Dec. 2-7,
Defense Minister Sitharaman was accorded the Armed Forces Enhanced Honors Cordon welcome, held discussions with Secretary Mattis, who also hosted a dinner in her honor.
Discussions at their bilateral meeting Dec. 3, focused on the growing partnership between India and US in the defense sphere, a press release from the Indian Embassy, said Views were also exchanged on a broad range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest. The Ministers reviewed ongoing initiatives to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and the U.S., the press release said.
Both sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, building on the discussions and outcomes of the 2 plus 2 Dialogue held in September 2018. Sitharaman highlighted the steps taken by Government of India to promote defense sector manufacturing, under Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” flag-ship program.
Earlier the same day, Sitharaman visited the State Department where she signed the condolence book for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. She also paid respects at the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’ by placing a wreath at the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial.
Her visit includes visiting Reno, Nevada, Dec. 4, where she is scheduled to hold meetings with select leaders of Indian community, and then San Francisco where she is expected to address a round table meeting at Stanford University. She will also visit the Defense Innovation Unit [DiU] of the U.S. Department of Defense and interact with start-ups and venture capitalists associated with this Unit.
From 5-7 December, Sitharaman is scheduled to visit Honolulu, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), recently renamed as INDO-PACOM. During the visit, she will hold meetings with Commander of INDO-PACOM, Admiral Philip S. Davidson. She will also visit Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, where she would board a U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer and will be briefed on INDO-PACOM activities.