Washington: India has been very open and inviting for a stronger military-to-military relationship with the US, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday.
“India, the world’s most populous democracy. They’ve been very open, inviting for a stronger military to military relationship. They see it in their best interest. These two democracies have every reason to work together because we want the same thing, basically,” Mattis said.
“We don’t have to search for common ground, we have common ground on respect for international law, territorial integrity, sovereignty, freedom of navigation, all these efforts are aligned,” Mattis said during a hearing on the defence budget held by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Defence Subcommittee hearing on the 2019 funding requests.
“When we walk in, we can just go through our talking points and check them off. We all agree,” he said.
Mattis also told lawmakers that going through India on his way into Afghanistan on one of his first trips, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had committed to a very high level of development funding for the war-torn country.