US sees India as key nation in Asia Pacific region - Pentagon

Posted on:13 Apr 2017 12:56:00
US sees India as key nation in Asia Pacific region - Pentagon
13 April 2017 Current Affairs:

The US sees India as a pivotal nation for its security in the Asia Pacific region, the Pentagon has said as the Trump administration quietly started the process of implementing the recent designation of India as a “major defence partner”.“The relationship between India and the United States is on track. Secretary [James] Mattis has made the defence relationship with India a top priority,” Pentagon Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told PTI.“He sees India as a pivotal nation in the region going forward for our security,” Captain Davis said, weeks after Mr. Mattis had a successful meeting with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval at the Pentagon.According to media reports, Mr. Doval’s American counterpart Lt Gen H R McMaster is slated to visit India soon. The White House refrained from making any comment on the visit.Keeping defence ties on the forefront of the India—US relationship, the Trump administration is believed to have started the process of implementing in letter and spirit the recent US designation of India as a “major defence partner” .Mr. Mattis in his first phone conversation with the then Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is believed to have said that he is ready to take off the India—US defence relationship from where it was left by his predecessor Ashton Carter.The assurance is being fast implemented by the Pentagon, sources said.The support to India US defence relationship comes from the opposition Democratic party too, reflecting the bipartisan support to the ties between the two largest democracies of the world.“This remains an exciting time in the US—India relationship, as we are starting to realise the potential of our bilateral cooperation and economic investment,” Senator Mark Warner, ranking Member of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee said.Noting that India is fast becoming one of the largest, most dynamic, and most diversified markets in the world, Warner said one aspect of the bilateral relationship between the two countries that has gained real momentum in recent years is the defence trade relationship, which is part of a broader growth in bilateral defence cooperation.“Given the growing convergence of Indian and US security interests and the deepening of our defence trade and technology cooperation relationship, last year my colleagues and I advanced legislation to make permanent the organisational structures within the Department of Defence that support this aspect of the relationship,” said Warner, who is also Democratic Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, which is the only country-specific caucus in the US Senate.“Additionally, I have been advocating with the US administration for approval of the Indian request for unmanned, unarmed drones for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance that could advance our shared interest in better maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean,”


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