National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will visit Washington this week for talks with top Trump administration officials and discuss a wide range of security issues and push forward the defence ties.
Mr. Doval will meet U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis on March 24, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters. He is also expected to meet his U.S. counterpart Lt. Gen. H R McMaster, the first between the two national security advisors.
Capt.Davis said he was not aware of the reasons for Mr. Doval’s visit, but added that Mr. Mattis would meet him on the sidelines of an international meeting of the anti-ISIS coalition hosted by the State Department later this week.
The Mattis—Doval meeting would be one of the highest-level meetings between the two countries after Donald Trump assumed the American presidency on January 20.
India’s ties with the U.S. gained momentum towards the end of the Barack Obama administration. At his final Pentagon press briefing in January, then Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said the ties “were on the right path.”
Last year, the U.S. declared India a major defence partner.
The designation, according to a US-India joint statement issued during Mr. Carter’s visit to New Delhi in December, is a status unique to India and institutionalises the progress made to facilitate defence trade and technology-sharing with India to a level at par with the US’ closest allies and partners.
“Clearly India is a very strong security partner and a force in the region. We continue to have very good relationship with India in the region,” Mr. Davis said on Monday.