U.S. Defence Secretary meets Indian Prime Minister

Li Jiayao

NEW DELHI, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis Tuesday called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials said.

"Prime Minister recalled his wide-ranging, candid, and fruitful discussions with President Trump during his visit to the United States in June this year. Both sides had reaffirmed their resolve to further develop their strong strategic partnership," a government spokesman said.

"Secretary Mattis briefed Prime Minister on the progress in advancing the bilateral agenda and implementing the decisions taken during that visit."

According to the spokesman, Modi appreciated the close engagement between the two countries on regional and global issues of mutual concern.

Earlier, during the day Mattis held a meeting with Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, following which a joint statement was issued.

Sitharaman said India will continue its development and medical assistance in Afghanistan but will not send its troops to the country.

"There shall not be any Indian boots on the ground in Afghanistan," Sitharaman said.

The U.S. have been emphasising on greater participation by India in the war-ravaged Afghanistan.


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