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With Afghanistan and terrorism emanating from Pakistan on top of his mind, US secretary of Defence Jim Mattis will arrive here be on a two-day visit to India starting from during which he will hold crucial talks with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman.
Mattis is the first foreign defence minister to whom Ms Sitharaman will be hosting after taking charge as the first fulltime woman Defence Minister.
His visits to India comes at time when the Indian Defence Establishment is actively formulating its next steps after announcing the Strategic Partnership Model to initiate big ticket projects under the Make-in-India initiative.
The bilateral dialogue likely to take stock of entire gamut of defence ties as this would be the first high level interaction between the Pentagon and the South Block after the transition in the US where Republicans have replaced Democrats.
“Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will embark on Sunday, Sept. 24, to underscore the enduring U.S. commitment to strategic partner India,” a statement issued by the Pentagon said.
During his visit Mattis would also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“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 statement said.
The secretary will also express U.S. appreciation for India’s important contributions toward Afghanistan’s democracy, stability, prosperity, and security. This is the first Cabinet-level visit to India under the Trump administration.
Mattis will formally start his visit by paying tribute to unknown soldiers with a wreath-laying ceremony at the India Gate.