Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on an official visit to the US from December 2-7, 2018, met Secretary of Defence James N Mattis on Tuesday and held discussions on a broad range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest.
Mattis also hosted a dinner in her honour. Earlier, Mattis had received Sitharaman on her arrival at the Pentagon. She was accorded the Armed Forces Enhanced Honours Cordon welcome. During their meeting, discussions were held on the growing partnership between India and US in the defence sphere.
They reviewed ongoing initiatives to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and the US.
Both sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, building on the discussions and outcomes of the ‘2 + 2 Dialogue’ held in September 2018. Sitharaman highlighted the steps taken by the Government to promote defence sector manufacturing, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Make in India’ flagship programme.
Earlier on December 3, she visited the US Department of State, where she signed the condolence book for former US President George HW Bush. She also paid respects at the 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldier' by laying a wreath at the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial.
At the conclusion of her engagements in Washington DC, Sitharaman was due to visit Reno later on Tuesday for interactions with select leaders of the Indian community in the US.
She will also visit San Francisco and address a roundtable meeting at Stanford. She will also visit the Defence Innovation Unit (DIU) of the US Department of Defence and interact with start-ups and venture capitalists associated with this unit.
From December 5-7, she is scheduled to visit Honolulu, the headquarters of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), recently renamed as INDO-PACOM. During the visit, she will hold meetings with Commander of INDO-PACOM, Admiral Philip S. Davidson.
She will also visit Joint Base Pearl Harbour Hickam, where she would board a US Guided Missile Destroyer and will be briefed on INDO-PACOM activities.
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