Defence cooperation is key facet of India-US partnership

Defence cooperation is key facet of India-US partnershipWashington, March 10 : India and the US have reaffirmed that bilateral defence cooperation is an important facet of the overall India-US strategic partnership.

The reaffirmation was made at the eleventh US-India Defence Policy Group (DPG) meeting here last week, the Indian Embassy said Wednesday.

Indian Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, and US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michelle Flournoy, who co-chaired the meeting also expressed satisfaction at the progress of India-US bilateral defence relations.

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, the embassy said.

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, it said.

In this context they also welcomed the removal of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Dynamics Limited from the US 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 DPG reviewed the reports of the four sub-groups - Military Cooperation Group, Joint Technology Group, Senior Security Technology Group and Senior Technology Security Group and the Defence Procurement & Production Group
(DPPG) that had held their meetings during the year and provided guidance for their work in the next year.

The DPG 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.

The two sides agreed that the next Defence Policy Group would be held in New Delhi early next year.

Kumar also met Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Deputy Secretary of Defence William Lynn. Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar also participated in these discussions.(IANS)