US defence secretary Leon Panetta, on a two-day visit to India, today met defence minister A K Antony to discuss further military cooperation. Panetta had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday evening.
Panetta's two-day stop at New Delhi is part of his nine-day tour of Asia, his second to the region and the first since the Pentagon released a new military strategy in which Asia and particularly India assumes a bigger importance for the US.
China's growing defence spending reportedly figured in the discussions.
Observers say that Panetta's visit is an effort to push US defence supplies to India, after the US lost a mega-deal for 127 fighter aircraft to France's Rafael.
Ahead of Panetta's visit, Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby catered for the dream of Indian planners, saying that India is a global power and is meeting its responsibilities in this capacity.
Responding to questions at a Pentagon news conference, Kirby said Panetta had expressed gratitude for what India has done in Afghanistan. He said the two countries should continue to stay engaged in the region, particularly in helping Afghanistan as it moves forward.