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Declaring India 'Major Defence Partner' opens door for increased cooperation: US official

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Declaring a "Major Defence Partner" opens the door for increased mutual cooperation as and the US have convergence of interests on a range of issues like maritime security, domain awareness, counter-and counter-terrorism, a senior has said.

The US recognised as a "Major Defence Partner" in 2016, a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from at par with that of the US' closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.

India and the US are natural partners across a range of political, economic and issues, Assistant Secretary of Defence, Asian and Pacific Affairs said while testifying before a

"In 2016, the declared India a 'Major Defense Partner', which opens the door for increased cooperation on a range of defence issues, most notably defence trade and technology," Schriver told the sub-committee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy yesterday.

With a mutual desire for global stability and support for a rules-based international order, India and the US have an increasing convergence of interests, including maritime and domain awareness, counter-piracy, countering terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and coordinated responses to natural disasters and transnational threats, he said.

"Our partnership extends beyond the Indo-Pacific region as well, and as we implement our Strategy, we welcome India's continued civilian contributions to stability and reconstruction in Afghanistan," the said.

Alex Wong, the for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told members of the sub-committee that in the first year, the initiated new efforts to support free and open border in the Indo-Pacific region.

These include new and infrastructure partnerships with and India; the delivery of a cutter to Vietnam; strengthened cyber cooperation with Australia, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam; the first US-India Counter-Designations Dialogue; an effort to speed foreign military sales to US partners.

As the US pursues its Indo-Pacific strategy, a number of countries in the region are pursuing similar strategies.

"If you look at India's Act East policy, South Korea's New Southern policy, Japan's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, Taiwan's New policy and Australia's Foreign Policy Whitepaper, they are all seeking to expand ties throughout the Indo-Pacific and in particular with the nations of and ASEAN," said.

As these strategies overlap with that of the US, he said, they'll form a strong free and open fabric that knits the region together, preserves sovereignty and promotes prosperity.

"This is a vision the US has long advanced in the Indo-Pacific, and one we believe will continue to reap benefits in terms of stability and prosperity," added.

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

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 13:55 IST