New Delhi, Sep 26: US Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Tuesday afternoon met Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and other officials in Delhi.
In the meeting, Modi recalled his wide-ranging, candid and fruitful discussions with President Donald Trump during his visit to the United States in June this year.
While Mattis briefed Indian Prime Minister about the progress in advancing strong strategic partnership and implementing decisions taken during that visit.
Both the leaders held talks regarding enhancement of cooperation in pursuing shared priorities for peace, stability and combating terrorism.
Modi hailed the close engagement between the two countries on regional and global issues of mutual concern.
Mattis arrived in India yesterday late night and on Tuesday in the morning he inspected the guard of honour at South Block. After this he called on Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Later, the two addressed a joint media conference where Mattis said the focus was on enhancing the defence relations between the two countries, with the US viewing India as a regional stabilizer.
In an apparent reference to China, which has disputes with its maritime neighbours in the South China sea, both India and the US favoured maintaining an “open, just and rules-based order”.
“A peaceful and prosperous future in the Indo-Pacific region is based on a strong rules-based international order and a shared commitment to international law, peaceful resolution of disputes and respect for territorial integrity,” Mattis said.
Sharing his concerns, Sitharaman said: “We also believe that disputes should be resolved through peaceful means and in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law. I am happy to note that Secretary Mattis reaffirmed the US position in support of these principles.
“I also welcome his reiteration of the US commitment to work with India in ensuring maritime security in the lndo-Pacific and as first responder to HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) situations,” she added.
Sitharaman said the two sides discussed issues relating to maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the broader Asia-Pacific Region as well as regional connectivity . “India backs the freedom of navigation, over-flight and unimpeded lawful commerce.”
Apart from this duo held discussions on wide range of issues defence, trade tiess and so on.