The Commander of US Special Operations Command, General Richard D Clarke Thursday met senior Indian military leadership, including Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, during his official visit to the country.
“The meetings are part of a routine visit through multiple countries in Asia,” US Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement.
Clarke began the trip honoring India’s fallen service members by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial. The visit comes at a time when Antony Blinken, United States’ Secretary of State is on an official visit to the country.
After the ceremony, Clarke met with Indian defense officials and discussed the ways in which India and the United States can continue working together to improve defense partnerships and grow interoperability.
“Our partnership with India is vital in the Indo-Pacific, and our teamwork helps provide security throughout the region,” Clarke said.
“Whether we’re training together in exercises, or cooperating in many other areas, our relationship with India is strong and continues to grow. I want to thank the Indian defense team for their leadership, friendship, and commitment to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
General Clarke’s New Delhi visit comes at a time when India and China militaries are engaged in an ongoing tense-standoff in the Eastern Ladakh region for more than a year that resulted in first bloody violent between the two nation in over 45 years.
His visit to India’s National War Memorial to honor India’s fallen service members is highly symbolic as Indian Army lost twenty personnel, including a Colonel level official, in a violent clash with the Chinese PLA in Galwan Valley in June last year, the first casualty in 45 years.
“We are proud to recognize the efforts of all those who’ve fought and defended India,” Clarke said at the National War Memorial.
“Laying this wreath reminds us of what our respective countries have given to protect our ways of life. We thank India’s service members who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice and we appreciate the work of all those who protect India today,” he added.