The United States today reaffirmed India’s designation as a Major Defence Partner and emphasised the importance of its strategic relationship as its National Security Adviser HR McMaster met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held talks with his counterpart Ajit Doval. “The two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including their shared interest in increasing defence and counter-terrorism cooperation,” the US embassy said in a press statement after the meetings in New Delhi.
“NSA McMaster emphasised the importance of the US-India strategic relationship and reaffirmed India’s designation as a Major Defence Partner,” the press statement said and noted that the meetings were “productive”.
Mr McMaster, whose trip to New Delhi marks the first visit by a top official of the Trump Administration, also met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. “The visit was a part of regional consultations that included stops in Kabul and Islamabad,” the statement said.
During the US official’s meeting with the Prime Minister, the two sides discussed key bilateral and regional issues, including defence and counter-terrorism cooperation. Mr Doval, Mr Jaishankar and several key officials were present in the meeting that took place at the Prime Minister’s residence.
Earlier, Mr McMaster and Mr Doval held detailed discussions on Indo-US relations especially the security aspect of the ties, sources said. The US National Security Adviser arrived in New Delhi last evening from Pakistan where he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and some top officials.
In Islamabad, the relations between India and Pakistan figured in Mr McMaster’s discussions with Mr Sharif.