At a historic meeting between the U.S. and India, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj emphasized the natural ties between the two countries and outlined a future of closer military and economic ties.

“Our two nations are united by shared values of democracy, respect for individual rights, and a shared commitment to freedom,” Pompeo said. These shared values are “a natural starting point for advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Pompeo described his first trip to India as secretary of state as historic because it was the first time he and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with their Indian counterparts, Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The meeting was known as the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

Sitharaman called the meeting “a defining moment in our bilateral ties.” As part of the deepening relationship, the U.S. and India agreed to a framework that would allow the two countries to share cutting-edge military technology. This will enable the two militaries to work closely together and share sensitive information.

Flags and Pompeo quote about India as leading global power (State Dept.)
(State Dept.)

Pompeo emphasized that through their new partnership, the United States and India “should continue to ensure the freedom of the seas and skies; uphold the peaceful resolution of territorial and maritime disputes; promote market-based economics; support good governance, fundamental rights and liberties; and prevent external economic coercion.”

India already holds more military exercises with the United States than any other partner.

The U.S., which has the world’s largest economy, also looks to do more business with India, which is projected to have the third-largest economy by 2030. Swaraj said, “We see the United States as the partner of choice in our efforts to achieve rapid social economic transformation of India.”

To help fuel India’s growing economy, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and Westinghouse Electric Company, an American business, are working toward building six nuclear power plants in India.

“Together, our nations can achieve our shared vision of prosperity and security as we build a relationship that will help shape the 21st century,” Pompeo said.