US recognises India as ‘Major Defence Partner’

Washington D.C.: Noting that the U.S.-India defence relationship can be an anchor of stability, and given the increasingly strengthened cooperation in defence, the United States recognises India as a ‘Major Defence Partner’.

The joint statement issued after the third major bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama, said under the arrangement, the U.S. will continue to work toward facilitating technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

The two leaders reached an understanding under which India would receive licence-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives.

In support of ‘Make in India’ initiative, and to support the development of robust defence industries and their integration into the global supply chain, the U.S. will continue to facilitate the export of goods and technologies, consistent with U.S. law, for projects, programmes and joint ventures in support of the official U.S.-India defence cooperation.

Applauding the completion of a roadmap for cooperation under the 2015 U.S.-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which will serve as a guide for collaboration in the years to come, both India and the U.S. resolved to look to each other as priority partners in the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean region.

Both nations welcomed the inaugural meeting of the Maritime Security Dialogue.

Owing to mutual interest in maritime security and maritime domain awareness, the two leaders welcomed the conclusion of a technical arrangement for sharing of maritime ‘White Shipping’ information.

The leaders affirmed their support for the U.S.-India cooperation in promoting maritime security. They reiterated the importance they attach to ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight and exploitation of resources as per international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and settlement of territorial disputes by peaceful means.

Both nations applauded the enhanced military to military cooperation between the two countries especially in joint exercises, training and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) and expressed desire to explore agreements which would facilitate further expansion of bilateral defence cooperation in practical ways. In this regard, they welcomed the finalisation of the text of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).

The leaders also committed to enhance cooperation in support of the Government of India’s Make in India Initiative and expand the co-production and co-development of technologies under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). They welcomed the establishment of new DTTI working groups to include agreed items covering Naval Systems, Air Systems, and other Weapons Systems.

The leaders announced the finalisation of the text of an Information Exchange Annex under the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation.

President Obama thanked Prime Minister Modi for his government’s support for the Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) missions in India, including a recovery mission that resulted in the recent repatriation of remains of the United States Service Members missing since the Second World War. The leaders announced their commitment to future DPAA? missions.

As space faring nations, India and the U.S. acknowledge that outer space should be an ever expanding frontier of human endeavour, and look forward to deepening their cooperation on earth observation, Mars exploration, space education and manned space flight.

The leaders welcomed the progress toward establishment of an ISRO-NASA Heliophysics Working Group as well as toward finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding for exchange of earth observation satellite data.