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    Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, center right, shakes hands with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis center, upon his arrival at the Defense Ministry office, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017

    India, US to Expand Defense Cooperation After Mattis' Visit - Minister

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    During US Defense Secretary James Mattis' official visit to New Delhiб India and the US have agreed to expand bilateral defense technology cooperation.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — India and the United States have agreed to expand bilateral defense technology cooperation during US Defense Secretary James Mattis' official visit to New Delhi, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday in a statement.

    "India-US defense relations have grown and it is a key pillar to our strategic partnership. We have decided to explore additional military exercises, we will cooperate on defense technology, expand co-development projects. We agreed that full implementation of India as a major defense partner will enhance the relationship," Sitharaman said.

    Mattis, in turn, said that Washington appreciated India's leadership in the Indian Ocean and sought to build a "resilient regional architecture."

    "I am looking forward to sharing some of our most advanced defense technologies with India. A steady engagement will be the way for our path ahead… Cooperation in defense equipment has grown over the past years. US is now a leading state of the art defense equipment supplier to India," Mattis added.

    Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the two ministers held talks during which they discussed the state of bilateral relations. The sides also discussed the growing threat of terrorism on the India-Pakistan border, as well as some pressing international issues.


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