Hagel, Indian Leaders Discuss Deepening Cooperation

Aug. 8, 2014 , DOD News

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met in New Delhi today with top leaders in India’s new government to discuss deepening the cooperation between the world’s largest democracy and the world’s oldest democracy.

In statements summarizing Hagel’s meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said Hagel and the Indian leaders discussed the importance of continuing robust defense cooperation, particularly in terms of co-development and co-production, and through military education and training exchanges.

Modi's forward-looking agenda for his summit with President Barack Obama in the fall was part of Hagel’s discussion with Modi, Kirby said, as well as new ways for the United States and India to deepen strategic ties while addressing a range of global issues.

“Topics covered in the discussion included Iraq, Afghanistan, the threat of terrorism in the Middle East, as well as security issues in the areas comprised by the Indian and Pacific oceans,” the press secretary said.

Hagel’s meeting with Swaraj was the first conversation between the two leaders, Kirby noted.

“Secretary Hagel expressed his strong desire to strengthen and deepen the relationship, especially in the defense sector,” he said. “The two leaders discussed strategic geopolitical issues, to include Iraq, Afghanistan and increasing cooperation in the Indian Ocean and Pacific regions.”

Hagel and Swaraj reaffirmed their commitment to strong bilateral relations, and both expressed the desire for a robust and energetic summit between Obama and Modi in the fall.

For up-to-the-minute coverage of the secretary’s overseas trip, follow the Defense Department’s official Twitter account, @DeptofDefense.