Wednesday, March 9, 2011

India, U.S. reaffirm bilateral defence ties

Washington,March 10, 2011

India and the United States have reaffirmed their bilateral military co-operation and had extensive discussion on further strengthening the ties during the recently concluded defence talks.

"This was reflected in the increasing number of joint exercises that the two armed forces held regularly and procurement of defence equipment by India such as C-130J aircraft," said Virander Paul, spokesman of the Indian Embassy here, five days after the conclusion of the meeting.

The eleventh U.S.-India Defence Policy Group (DPG) meeting, held in Washington from March 3 to 4, was co-chaired by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and U.S. Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michelle Flournoy.

Mr. Kumar also met the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Deputy Secretary of Defence William Lynn.

Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar also participated in these discussions, Mr. Paul said, adding that both sides reaffirmed that the bilateral defence cooperation is an important facet of the overall India-U.S. strategic partnership.

Mr. Kumar and Flournoy expressed satisfaction at the progress of India-U.S. bilateral defence relations.

"The two sides had an extensive discussion on further strengthening bilateral defence ties, under the auspices of the Defence Framework Agreement of 2005 particularly in the areas of maritime security, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, and personnel exchanges," Mr. Paul said.

The two countries welcomed the removal of Defence Research and Development Organisation and Bharat Dynamics Limited from the U.S. Entities List and noted that this opened up new opportunities for cooperation in the field of defence supplies as well as industrial and technological cooperation between India and the US.

The meeting also included a policy-level dialogue on the global strategic and security situation.

"Both sides also discussed the multilateral security architecture in Asia and looked forward to continued cooperation in these organizations," Mr. Paul said, adding that the next round of meeting would be held in New Delhi early next year.

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