U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is calling for closer military cooperation between the United States and India in the effort to bring stability to South Asia.
Gates met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Tuesday. The meeting represents the first high-level talks between the two countries since Mr. Singh visited the White House in November.
During his two-day visit, Secretary Gates is also scheduled to meet with India's foreign and defense ministers.
In an opinion piece published in The Times of India Tuesday, Gates said India and the United States should push for even greater cooperation in confronting new security threats.
He said the peace and security of South Asia is critical to not only the region, but the entire international community.
The visit comes just as India is deciding whether to finalize potential deals with U.S. companies for new military equipment.
In addition to regional security, the leaders are also expected to discuss the war in Afghanistan and relations between India and Pakistan.
Speaking to reporters before his arrival, Secretary Gates praised India for showing "restraint" following the 2008 terrorists attacks in Mumbai. He said India and Pakistan have managed to keep the tensions between the two countries at a manageable level.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained following attacks in November 2008 that left more than 160 people dead. India accuses the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of carrying out the attacks.