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US, India to boost defence ties, fast-track co-production

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Washington: India and the US have ramped up their defence and strategic ties by agreeing to fast-track co-production ventures as their defence ministers held wide-ranging talks on regional and global security issues besides discussing the growing menace of terrorism.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his American counterpart Ashton Carter held one-and-a-half hour long closed door discussions yesterday during which the two leaders “reviewed the cooperation between our armed forces which have grown stronger”.

Parrikar said India and US share a strategic partnership that reflects their shared values and interests. Defence and security cooperation is a vital component of this partnership, he said.

Describing the Indo-US defence partnership as an anchor of global security, Carter said the Obama Administration is ready to further strengthen this relationship.

“The Indo-Asia-Pacific is one of the most consequential parts of the world for America’s future. And we welcome India’s rise as a security partner in a region where half of humanity lives, and half of the world’s economic activity takes place,” Carter told reporters at a joint news conference with the visiting Indian Defence Minister.

Carter informed Parrikar that the US has updated its policy on gas-turbine engine technology transfer to India to expand cooperation in production and design of sensitive jet engine components.

As a result of this policy update, Carter said that the US will be able to expand cooperation in production and design of sensitive jet engine components.

Carter and Parrikar look forward to US companies working with their Indian counterparts to submit transfer requests that will benefit from this updated policy, said a joint statement.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed ways and means to move the ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) forward.

Expressing satisfaction with DTTI progress to date, the two committed themselves to identifying additional projects for possible co-development and co-production of high technology items that meet the transformational intent of DTTI, the joint statement said.

This was the third meeting between the two leaders in less than six months.

Yesterday the two leaders stayed together for nine hours, including four hours abroad USS Eisenhower, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

“Through our meetings today and expanded cooperation in the days to come, the US-India defence partnership will become an anchor of global security, as together, we work towards a common future, a common future between the United States and India that is destined,” Carter said.

PTI