Pompeo in Delhi, US says military ties expanding

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo

New Delhi (NVI): As Secretary of State Michael Pompeo arrived here today on a two-day visit, the US State Department said the two countries are expanding cooperation between their militaries, including navies which play a critical role in ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific.

Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper are here for 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tomorrow.

Pompeo will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold discussions with other government and business leaders on ways to advance the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

The US said the bilateral relationship is rooted in democratic traditions and growing in new strategic dimensions.

“The United States and India have a strong and growing bilateral relationship built on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the world’s oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India enjoy deeply rooted democratic traditions,” the State Department said in a statement.

It said the growth in the partnership reflects a deepening strategic convergence on a range of issues.

“Our cooperation is expanding in important areas including health, infrastructure development, energy, aviation, science, and space,” it said, adding holding the third U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in just over two years demonstrates high-level commitment to the shared diplomatic and security objectives.

Describing India as a regional and international leader, the statement said, “As outlined in our National Security Strategy, the United States welcomes India’s emergence as a leading regional and global power. The United States looks forward to collaborating closely with India during its upcoming term on the UN Security Council.”

Noting that the US-India defence and security cooperation is getting increasingly strong, the statement said the defence trade has increased significantly over the past two decades.

India maintains the largest fleets of C-17 and P-8 aircraft outside of the United States, and as of 2020 the United States has authorized more than $20 billion in defence sales to India, the State Department said.

“The United States and India enjoy robust defense industrial cooperation. Through the U.S.- India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, the United States and India work together on co-production and co-development of defence equipment,” it said.

Referring to the recent Quadrilateral Ministerial meeting in Tokyo attended by Pompeo and his counterparts from India, Japan, and Australia, the State Department said it demonstrated the strong cooperative ties among Indo-Pacific democracies interested in strengthening a rules-based order in which all nations are sovereign, strong, and prosperous.

The Quad has proven to be an effective multilateral mechanism, helping to create resilient supply chains, promote transparency, counter disinformation, and increase maritime security, it said.

“India, with its large economy, strong support for entrepreneurship and innovation, and its growing international trade, is one of the world’s leading economic powers and is well positioned to promote our shared vision for a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific where all nations can prosper,” it said.