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'US needs to be creative on insisting foundational agreements with India'

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The needs to be creative in how it insists on signing the foundational agreements, which the US considers important for enhanced bilateral defence cooperation with India, a top American told lawmakers today.

"I think we need to be creative in how we insist on that application in and work with the Indians so that together we can come to a place where we can realize this major defence moniker," Harry J Harris, of the US Pacific Command, told members of the House Armed during a Congressional hearing.

In 2016, was designated as Major Defence by the then Obama Administration, which the continued with in 2017.

"We designated (major defence partner) in 2016 and in 2017 we continued that work. I think in 2018, this is the year to get things done. That means we have to do things on our side as well," Harris said, referring to the three foundational agreements that the US wants to sign in.

has been objecting to some of the provisions of the foundational agreement. As a result, of late the has been talking about India-specific paper work which addresses the concerns of and takes care of the existing American laws in this regard.

Harris was responding to a question from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is of the Congressional caucus on and Indian-Americans.

"I do believe that is our great strategic opportunity, shared values, shared concerns, and all of that. They are the only country in the world that's designated as major defense and we need to, we the United States, we need to continue to look for ways to turn that term into reality," Harris said.

"We have a great opportunity coming up in to improve the capability of their defense forces," he said.

In response to another question, Harris said US views as one of the biggest strategic opportunities that the US has. Harris was recently in to attend the Raisina Dialogue.

"I think that the opportunities with India, a country that shares our democratic values, the largest democracy in the world, and a friend of the Unites States -- it's important that we continue to -- to work closely with India, and we continue to provide things for the and that we continue the mil-to-mil relationship with the armed forces," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 08:05 IST