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India’s major defence partner tag deepens ties with US: Carter

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India's major defence partner tag deepens ties with US CarterWashington: Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said India’s designation as a ‘major defence partner’ would allow the US to cooperate with it – in both strategic and technological domains – at par with its closet and most long-standing allies.

“First of all with respect to the major defence partnership agreement, that is a very substantial change. It’s an enormous change from 50 years of history. And a very substantial advance over just a few months ago,” Carter told Pentagon reporters at a news conference along with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

“And here’s the gist of it. It will allow the United States and India to cooperate, which speaking from the US point of view, in a way that we do only with our closest and most long-standing allies. That’s a very big change,” Carter said.

In June when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited US and met President Barack Obama, the country had designated India as a ‘major defence partner’.

“The Indian government sent us before our meeting today a very lengthy, detailed and we thought very constructive paper about how to implement the major defence partnership understanding. That’s an excellent basis for the implementation of the major defence partnership,” he said.

The major defence partnership designation, has “knocked down” the previous barriers that came in the way of defence, strategic co-operation including co-production, co-development projects and exercises.

Appreciating the US government’s decision, Parrikar said: “In our discussions today, we looked at how this could provide further energy and momentum to our partnership on defence technology and manufacturing. We agreed to continue efforts to establish an efficient framework to encourage tie-ups between our defence companies.” .

PTI

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