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Mattis, Parrikar vow to boost Indo-US defence ties

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WASHINGTON (PTI): India and the US have agreed to sustain the momentum in their defence collaboration while committing to build on the "tremendous progress" made in the sector as Defence Secretary James Mattis has held his first telephonic conversation with Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar.

"In their first conversation, Secretary Mattis committed to build upon the tremendous progress in bilateral defence cooperation made in recent years, underscoring the strategic importance of the US-India relationship and India's role in advancing global peace and security," Pentagon Press Secretary Capt Jeff Davis said.

This was the first conversation between the two leaders after Gen (retd) Mattis was sworn in as the Defence Secretary last month.

"Secretary Mattis and Minister Parrikar affirmed their commitment to sustain the momentum on key bilateral defence efforts to include the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative," Davis said after the phone call between the two leaders.

Last month, the then defence secretary Ashton Carter had said that the India-US defence relationship is on the right path and the two nations are discussing ways to develop this partnership through technology sharing and co-production.

Carter, who met Parrikar seven times during his tenure, was instrumental in US declaring India a 'major defence partner'.

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