Carter to visit India next week
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (L) and India's Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar shake hands after attending a press conference at the Pentagon on August 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. Photograph: (AFP)
The Pentagon today announced that outgoing US defence secretary Ashton Carter would be visiting India next week as part of his final trip around the world.
Carter would also travel to Japan, Bahrain, Israel and Great Britain on his trip. He will be in India on December 8 where he is likely to discuss maritime security and the sale of Predator drones by General Atomics.
This is the first time that an outgoing American defence secretary has included India in his itinerary for the final overseas trip, a PTI report said.
"He (Carter) will look to build on the strategic handshake between the two nations and to continue the momentum in the relationship over the past decade, including expanded defence cooperation during his time as Secretary," PTI reported from a Pentagon statement.
Carter's agenda comprises M777 and Predator Guardian for the Indian Navy.
India earlier this year joined the MTCR with support from the US and was also designated a "a major defence partner" when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the US and met President Barack Obama at the Oval Office.
Vivek Lall, chief executive, US and International Strategic Development at General Atomics, are among the US leaders that have been advocating greater convergence between the US and India, PTI reported.
India had acquired Boeing P8I aircraft under his leadrship in 2009.
Modi spoke to President-elect Donald Trump on November 9 to congratulate as India hopes that Trump will pursue a strategy in South Asia making India truly a priority and an anchor in the region.
(WION with inputs from PTI)