Washington: The Pentagon today hosted a group of top Indian defence officials for the 14th India-US Defence Policy Group meeting, the first such talks after the signing of the Defence Framework Pact between the two countries.
The meeting also comes a day after the day-long US visit of Pakistan Army Chief Gen Raheel, who had met CIA Director John Brennan and US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter.
“The 14th US-India Defence Policy Group (DPG) is being held today,” Pentagon spokesman Cmdr Bill Urban told PTI.
Co-chaired by US Under-Secretary of Defence for Policy Christine Wormuth and Indian Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar, the meeting was also attended by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal.
“The meeting is our annual senior-level bilateral defence dialogue and is the primary mechanism for guiding the strategic defence relationship,” Urban said.
“I cannot provide a specific agenda, but the two sides will discuss common security interest and explore ways to further strengthen the military-to-military and defence relationship as a whole,” he said in response to a question.
The 14th India-US Defence Policy Group meeting is being held weeks before the scheduled first ever US visit of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on December 10.
It was also the first meeting after the Defence Framework Pact between the two countries was signed during the India visit of Carter.
The new Framework agreement provides avenues for high level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces of both countries, and strengthening of defence capabilities.