Washington: Hoping to build on President Barack Obama's visit earlier this year, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will visit India in May seeking further strengthening of bilateral defence ties.
"Secretary Carter will visit India, where he is looking forward to building on President Obama's visit earlier this year by further strengthening US-India defence cooperation -- including the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative that Secretary Carter started when he served as Deputy Secretary of Defense -- and by engaging India further on other Asia-Pacific issues," the Pentagon said in a statement yesterday.
In the next two months, Carter would be making two trips to Asia, to affirm defence relationships with allies and build upon key initiatives of the rebalance to the region.
On April 6, Carter will launch his first trip, focussed on strengthening and modernising America's alliances in Northeast Asia with stops in Japan and the Republic of Korea.
On the way to Japan, he will address students and faculty at the McCain Institute of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona about the strong link between national security and economic security and the full-court press the administration will continue to take on the rebalance.
Carter will then travel to Japan arriving late in the evening of April 7.
On April 8 and 9 he will meet with senior Japanese officials to discuss the defence strategic guidelines review and a number of other matters of mutual interest ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Washington at the end of April.
Carter will arrive in Seoul on April 9 and on later meet with senior government officials to reiterate the United States' strong commitment to Republic of Korea's security and discuss regional issues.
In both the countries, Secretary Cater will also meet with US service members and their families.
On Saturday, April 11, Secretary Carter will visit US Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii.
He will return to Washington on Sunday, April 12.
In May, Carter will make his second trip to Asia focused on building and strengthening the United States' growing partnerships in South and Southeast Asia.
Carter will address the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, which he views as an important opportunity to engage with Singapore and other key partners in Southeast Asia, the Pentagon said.