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India a 'consequential' emerging partner for US: Mattis ahead of 2+2 meet

Mattis, one of the strongest advocates of India-US relationship in the Trump administration, said that the two nations shared more than just democracy

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

US Defence Secretary, James Mattis
James Mattis

The India-US relationship is on a firm foundation and the administration sees as a "consequential" emerging partner, US Jim said Wednesday.

and US of State arrived in to hold the inaugural two-plus-two dialogue with their Indian counterparts Defense and External Affairs

The focus of the dialogue will be to deepen strategic ties and resolve differences over India's defence engagement with and from

"My visit is a firm indicator of what we see as India's place among our most strategic, and I would even call them consequential emerging partners," told reporters travelling with him on his way to

"Not just in the Region, but in the world, as steps up to its legitimate role as they see it in the community of nations. During Modi's visit to the last year, the president, Trump, said - and I quote here 'The friendship between the US and India is built on shared values," Mattis said.

"We all know those values are based on democratic values, and that's what we see in the world's two largest democracies that exist. We don't have to create those values, those values exist. This is not an opportunity we are creating, it's an opportunity that is resident in the two countries' politics," he said.

Mattis, one of the strongest advocates of India-US relationship in the administration, said that the two nations shared more than just democracy.

"We share a steadfast commitment to a safe and a secure, a prosperous and, especially, a free Indo-Pacific," he said.

"Free of terrorism and freedom for each nation to make sovereign decisions on their own, based on their own interests. This is underpinned by our steadfast commitment to the rule of law, the freedom of navigation, freedom from coercion for all nations no matter their size or the age of their independence," he said.

As the world's largest democracy, the US sees India as taking on a greater regional and global responsibility, a stabilising force, Mattis said.

"Pompeo and I are coming to for the continued consultations. I believe we will be reaffirming much of our shared vision for the region, alongside our Indian counterparts, Minister Swaraj and Minister Sitharaman, during this first two-plus-two meeting between the US and India at the ministerial level," he said.

He said there had been scheduled meetings before, but scheduling challenges on both sides had interrupted those schedules.

"We did not cancel them; we simply kept postponing them until we could find a mutually convenient time. The normal give and take in - in the tempo of the offices that we and our counterparts occupy," Mattis said.

First Published: Thu, September 06 2018. 00:06 IST