US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, R Clarke Cooper will travel to India in early June to discuss cooperation and peacekeeping between the two countries.
“In India, Assistant Secretary Cooper will hold talks on defence cooperation and peacekeeping, two key areas of the rapidly growing US-India partnership as envisioned in the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy,” the Department of State said in a statement.
US-India bilateral defence trade has risen from virtually zero in 2008 to USD 15 billion today, the department said. “The talks will focus on supporting India’s role as a major defence partner, expanding our security cooperation, and furthering opportunities for American industry,” the statement read,” it added.
Cooper is also scheduled to visit Sri Lanka and Singapore during his tour to South Asia from May 29 to June 7.
In Sri Lanka, the State Department official is expected to meet with government officials and think tank experts to “discuss security, peacekeeping, clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance, counterterrorism, and other areas of mutual interest.”
In Singapore, Cooper will join Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea L. Thompson on a delegation of senior US officials led by Acting Secretary of Defence, Patrick M. Shanahan, for the Shangri-La Dialogue, a forum for exchanges among defence and security policy professionals from across the Indo-Pacific region.
The official is further expected to hold talks with military officials from different countries around the globe to discuss the US partnerships in regional security, maritime security, and defence trade efforts that contribute to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, the Department said.
(With ANI inputs)