US Defence Secy James Mattis First Visit To India: Know What All To Expect

News World India | 0
| September 20 , 2017 , 08:34 IST

India and the US, apart from having positive relations diplomatically also share a "robust military connect" which has been built over the past 15 years under the administration of former US Presidents Bush and Obama.

As the US Secretary of Defence James Mattis is scheduled to conduct bilateral meetings with India's new Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the underlying theme of the meet is said to be forging "a strong political connect" to further India-US defence cooperation. Other issues on the agenda include discussing maritime security, counter-terrorism, joint defence production projects, the security situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and an aggressive China.

ALSO READ: US-Made New Howitzer Damaged During Army's Test Firing In Pokhran

The visit of Mattis marks the first defence ministerial-level meeting since the US President Donald Trump came into office in January.

A retired Marine Corps general, Mattis will be arriving in New Delhi on September 25 and will attend a delegation-level meeting with Sitharaman on September 26.

"Continued, intensive engagement with the US is central to our security concerns in our neighbourhood as well as the larger Asia Pacific region. Mattis will also meet PM Narendra Modi and national security advisor Ajit Doval on September 26," said a source.

ALSO READ: Joint Development In Defence And Nuclear Key For India-Japan Talks

With Trump pressuring India to do more for the Afghanistan situation, India is likely to increase its developmental and security assistance to the war-torn nation without contributing actual troops. Maritime security is a shared concern between India and US, especially since Chinese warships have started making regular trips into the Indian Ocean Region.

Direct sales like the $2 billion one for 22 unarmed Predator or MQ-9B Guardian drones will also be discussed, as well as joint projects under the bilateral Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

However, the combination of US President Trump's protectionist policies and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus on 'Make in India' may complicate the DDTI.