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Secretary Rumsfeld Remarks with Indian Defense Minister

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
June 12, 2002

(Remarks in New Delhi with Defense Minister George Fernandes.)

Fernandes: First and foremost let me once again welcome you to Delhi.

Rumsfeld: Thank you, sir.

Fernandes: We have very fond memories of our earlier meeting here and I am indeed happy that through the course of the hour and a half that we spent among ourselves here up there, we were able to discuss various issues have been on our agenda for quite some time.

It has been part of a very productive visit. I'm sure the discussions we have and the understanding we reach all help to deal with some of the immediate problems we are facing, will bear fruit, and it will help in creating a better axis here for our subcontinent.

I do not wish to go into any of the specifics. I once again thank you for being with us and now I leave the floor to you.

Rumsfeld: Thank you very much, Mr. Minister. It is a pleasure to be back here and to have an opportunity again to visit with the Minister of Defense. We have had a number of meetings. They have all been cordial and constructive. The United States, needless to say, very much values its relationship with India from a political, economic, as well as our improving and strengthening military to military relationship.

We have had a very good discussion this morning. Earlier today I met with Ambassador Mishra. Later today, this noon, I'm going to be seeing the Minister of External Affairs Mr. Singh and Mr. Advani and then still later the Prime Minister.

The President of the United States, Secretary Powell are, needless to say, deeply interested in the relationship with this country and are anxious to see the tension that exists between India and Pakistan improved. We feel that there are steps being taken which are constructive and I must say that the leadership here in India has demonstrated their concern and their interest in seeing that things are resolved in an appropriate way. So I'm very pleased to be able to be here and have a chance to visit and discuss some specifics, but also every bit as important, our broader relationships between our two countries.

Thank you very much.

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