Washington, March 21: To cement US-India strategic ties, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday will leave for the United States of America to discuss the growing threats of terrorism in Af-Pak region. He will be attending an international meet of anti-ISIS coalition led by the USA. The meeting with US Defence Secretary James Mattis is likely to take place on the sidelines of the meet. The visit of the National Security Advisor comes after the recent visit of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
Addressing the reporters, Pentagon Spokesperson Capt Jeff Davis said that NSA Ajit Doval is expected to meet his counterpart Lt Gen H R McMaster at the White House. The meeting between the NSAs is also likely to set the agenda for the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the United States of America Donald Trump. Both leaders will meet on July 7-8 at a G20 meet in Hamburg.
Stressing on the strengthening of the relations, Pentagon Spokesperson said, “Clearly India is a very strong security partner and a force in the region. We continue to have very good relationship with India in the region.”
The meeting of NSA with the top brass of the Trump administration bears a special significance. Ajit Doval is expected to raise the demand of enhancing the presence of US military in Af-Pak region as the Russia and China along with Iran are foreseeing an opportunity in giving Taliban a greater role in the region after the weakening of the Islamic State. The security agencies are constantly looking at the overtures of Iran and Pakistan in giving a prominent role to the Islamic State led by Wilayat Khorasan in the region.
The meeting with Trump administration is also expected to discuss the spate of terrorist attacks in Punjab province of the Pakistan which has emerged into the new theatre of terror in the region. They are also expected to address the increasing influence of China in South Asia including Sri Lanka and Maldives. China is already pushing for the Gwadar port with the help of Pakistan and Iran.
The Mattis-Doval meeting later this week would be one of the highest-level meetings between the two countries after the Trump Administration came to power on January 20.