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Withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq's descent in chaos, co-production and development of military hardware and exploring convergence of interests of India and America is high on the agenda of US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, who reached India today on a three-day visit.

Withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq's descent in chaos, co-production and development of military hardware and exploring convergence of interests of India and America is high on the agenda of US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, who reached India today on a three-day visit.

Mr Hagel is the second top US official to visit India since Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister in May.

Before leaving for India, Mr Hagel had said the US is looking for new partners and relationships in Asia Pacific region which represents both opportunities and challenges.

Mr Hagel will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday. During his talks with these leaders, Mr Hagel is expected to discuss the regional security situation including the fallout of the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The US Secretary of Defence is also scheduled to meet Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who is also the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC), a panel comprising the service chiefs of Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.

Although there is a long list of military hardware that India intends to procure from US, senior officials told NDTV that the issue will not figure in this round of meetings. "The new government at South Block and Washington will take stock of the existing relationship and explore ways to strengthen it. We do not see any deals being inked," an official told NDTV.

In 2012, the US had changed its focus to Asia-Pacific region in a bid to counter China. And in the changed focus, the US sees India as a crucial partner. Last year, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama took the relationship to the next level when the two leaders decided to move away from the buyer-seller relation to focus on the joint development and production of military technology.
(By: The Hindu)

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