US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday said there is a “generational opportunity” between the two largest democracies of the world to work together.
Mattis, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week during his India visit, noted that as the prime minister, Modi “takes the country forward economically” to a much higher level of living for his people, and to a bigger role in the world.
“It is a strategic convergence, a generational opportunity between the two largest democracies in the world to work together, based on those shared interests of peace, prosperity and stability in the region,” Mattis said during his appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
India, he said, is coming into its own. It’s going to be a global player, he said.
“I think this is quite right, as Prime Minister Modi takes them forward economically to a much higher level of living for his people, to a bigger role in the world. And that role, from our perspective, is a wholly positive one right now,” Mattis said in response to a question.
“We are natural partners, India and the United States, and we recognise each other’s sovereignty. We have respect for each other. But we also see the opportunity we’re presented with right now,” he said.
Asked to share his experience he had holding meetings during his the visit, Mattis said, “the meetings could not have gone better.”