Defence cooperation between India and the U.S. has gone up significantly

Defence cooperation between India and the U.S. has gone up significantly

"India will expand development activities to help stabilize the war-torn country, but there shall not be any boots on the ground in Afghanistan", she added, ruling out India's military presence in Afghanistan. He will also be meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in the capital.

'As global leaders, India and the US work together to eradicate this scourge, ' James stated.

The two sides issued the joint statement following a meeting between Mattis, who is the first high-ranking official from the Donald Trump administration to have arrived in India, with Sitharaman here.

New Delhi has already invested more than $2 billion in economic aid to Afghanistan and has agreed to provide additional support to the Afghan security forces. Mattis will meet PM Modi and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman during his India tour, which ends on September 28.

"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.

Terrorism and the ways to combat it were also discussed even as concern was expressed on the "growing menace of cross-border terrorism" on which a growing convergence in the approaches of both the countries was recorded. Today, I had useful discussions with Secretary Mattis on how we could strengthen our cooperation bilaterally as well as with the Government of Afghanistan in pursuit of our common objective of a peaceful, democratic, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

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

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"We have a historic opportunity to set a refreshed partnership between our nations, and it's a partnership built on respect, trust, and the shared values of democracy, freedom of expression and human dignity", he said.

Defence Secretary James Mattis said that there would be no tolerance of terror safe heavens.

This is the first Cabinet-level visit to India under the Trump administration and would also be the first major interaction for Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with a foreign counterpart after taking charge of the crucial portfolio.

India which was given the status of Major Defence Partner during the previous Obama administration expects to get greater access to United States defence technology.

Mattis said the talks covered ways to further enhance defense trade and technology collaboration between defense industries.

The US had hoped for Delhi to play a bigger role in Afghanistan after unveiling its new strategy for the region last month.

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