Washington/New Delhi, Feb 9: India and the US have agreed to maintain the pace and momentum of their partnership, particularly in the defence ties, after US secretary of defense Jim Mattis spoke over phone with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, American and Indian officials said on Thursday.
Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the 'first conversation' between Mattis and Parrikar.
"Secretary Mattis committed to build upon the tremendous progress in bilateral defence cooperation made in recent years, underscoring the strategic importance of the US-India relationship and India's role in advancing global peace and security," Davis said after the two leaders spoke on Wednesday.
Mattis and Parrikar, Davis said, also 'affirmed their commitment to sustain the momentum on key bilateral defence efforts to include the defence technology and trade initiative'.
The Defence Ministry in a statement in Delhi said the two leaders 'expressed satisfaction at the progress in defence cooperation between India and the United States, especially in recent years and noted its significance in the regional and global context'.
It said Mattis and Parrikar 'emphasised the special significance and high priority placed by both countries to the relationship, and resolved to work together to further consolidate and expand this partnership in the future'.