US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter would host his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar at the Pentagon on Monday, weeks after India was designated as a major defence partner by the US.
The Pentagon on Friday said Carter will host an enhanced honour cordon to welcome Parrikar to the US Defence Department headquarters. Following the arrival ceremony there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.
After the ceremony there will be a bilateral meeting followed by a joint press conference at the Pentagon, a statement said. “This will be Carter’s sixth meeting with Parrikar, and comes just weeks after India was designated a major defence partner of the United States during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June visit to Washington,” the Pentagon said.
Carter had met Parrikar during a visit to India in April.
The India-US Defence partnership has been the most ambitious one over the past several years, a senior State Department official told a group of South Asian reporters on Friday. “During the Prime Minister s last visit we were able to announce that the logistic agreements have been finalised, so we look forward to being able to sign that in the near future whether or not if that is going to be part of ministers visit or not,” the official said.
“We are certainly welcoming and hopeful for continuing to move forward on that and continuing to move forward on the fact that we have designated India as a major defence partner into and continue to progress in that direction,” the official added.