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Defence Minister To Hold Sixth Meeting With US Counterpart At Pentagon

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Washington: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will meet his American counterpart Ashton Carter at the Pentagon on Monday, weeks after India was designated as a major defence partner by the US.

The Pentagon yesterday said Mr Carter will host an enhanced honour cordon to welcome Mr 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 Mr Carter’s sixth meeting with Mr 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. Mr Carter had met Mr 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 said yesterday.

“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 US official added.

PTI

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