Washington: Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Mike Gilday is scheduled to travel to India next week where he will meet with Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh as well as other senior leaders from the Indian Navy and government, officials said on Saturday.
An official statement from the US Navy said Gilday will be visiting India to reaffirm the growing level of naval cooperation between the two nations. The visit comes amid growing defence cooperation between India and US and changing geo-political situation in the region following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
“Make no mistake, India is one of our closest strategic partners, and our relationship is a stronghold of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Gilday was quoted in the statement.
“This visit is a great opportunity for me to meet with my counterpart in India and discuss areas for continued mutual cooperation. No doubt, there are many areas where we can partner and collaborate.”
There is no better signal of the US Navy’s desire to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific than operating in the region.
“I am grateful for our navies’ continued cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to create an inclusive, free and open rules-based order… And by continuing to work closely with the Indian Navy, we will increase our interoperability for decades to come as well as maintain security, stability, and prosperity,” he said.
The statement added that the visit will also underscore the growing strength of the US-India Defence partnership as the two countries work in concert with like-minded partners to promote shared goals.
The United States designated India as a Major Defence Partner in 2016.