Gates arrived in New Delhi for two days of talks with Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and defense minister AK Antony.
Gates said, "It was statesmanlike of India to refrain from retaliating against Pakistan after Mumbai attacks.
He further said, "Obviously we would hope that there wouldn't be any more attacks. But I think that even within the framework of that attack and the suspicions that it created, the two sides have managed to keep the tensions between them at a manageable level."
Gates also said the United States was not directly involved in trying to broker peace between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
"I think it's clear that both sides prefer to deal with this bilaterally and that others not be involved," he added.