The United States and India reaffirmed a strategic partnership that involves not only a growing defense relationship but also shared perspectives of the region. Rounding off his first regional visit, US NSA, HR McMaster held talks with prime minister Narendra Modi, NSA, Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S. Jaishankar. According to the PMO, the two sides “exchanged views on how both countries can work together to effectively address the challenge of terrorism and to advance regional peace, security and stability.”
A statement by the US embassy said the US reaffirmed India’s status as “major defence partner”. “The two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including their shared interest in increasing defense and counterterrorism cooperation. The visit was a part of regional consultations that included stops in Kabul and Islamabad.”
A new era of cooperation between the US and India was ushered in on July 18, 2005 in Washington DC when President George Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concluded a set of far reaching initiatives which will pave the way for a closer economic and strategic partnership between the two countries at Government and at industry levels.
The US and India share common values based on their democratic, multi–cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, as well as a strong entrepreneurial spirit, all of which support the bilateral Strategic Partnership.
Both the US and India are committed to full exploitation of the mutual benefits of globalization, which is an irreversible process driven by technology and the development of human resources in an increasingly knowledge-based world. Through mutual harnessing of technology and human capital, the US and India can forge a unique partnership to achieve greater competitiveness and prosperity for the citizens of both nations.
In this context, the planned visit by PM to travel to Washington DC for his first summit with Donald Trump this summer, assumes importance. It is believed McMaster’s discussions included talks on the visit, though there was no official confirmation.
Official sources said the discussions with the Indian leadership covered situation in Afghanistan, West Asia and DPRK. McMaster has separately been quoted as saying that the North Korean issue was “coming to a head”.
On the issue of Afghanistan, Indian sources said there appeared to be a continuation of US policy, based primarily on counter-terrorism and supporting building up of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). “We both want the same outcomes in Afghanistan. The difference is in our resources and approach,” said high level sources.