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US, Indian defence ministers reaffirm strong security ties

US, Indian defence ministers reaffirm strong security ties

Washington: US Secretary of Defence James Mattis met with Indian Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman here at Pentagon on Monday, highlighting security cooperation between Washington and New Delhi.

The US and India have made meaningful progress advancing bilateral defence cooperation over the past year, Mattis said in a statement issued by Pentagon, reports Xinhua news agency.

Mattis stressed the inaugural US-India "2+2" Ministerial Dialogue, which was held in September in New Delhi, "made clear our commitment to further bolster our major defence partnership."

Sitharaman said that India saw the US as an important partner in defence.

"We have good military-to-military cooperation, defence consultations, scientific and R&D work, defence trade, co-production and co-development, and industry collaboration," she said.

India, however, also traditionally enjoyed a close defence relationship with Russia.

In October, Indian and Russian leaders formally signed a purchase agreement for the S-400 air defence missile system worth more than $5 billion.

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