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US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on three-day visit

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Ashton CarterVisakhapatnam: American Defence Secretary Ashton Carter today started his three-day visit to the country during which India and US will sign the 10-year defence framework agreement that will steer bilateral ties in the crucial sector.

The agreement, decided during the visit of US President Barack Obama in January, will focus on issues ranging from maritime security, aircraft carrier to jet engine technology cooperation and joint training.

Carter arrived at INS Dega here and was briefed by top officials about the activities of the Eastern Naval Command that looks after security in Indian Ocean.

This is Carter’s first visit to India as Secretary of Defence. He had earlier visited India in September 2013 and July 2012 as Deputy Secretary of Defence.

As Deputy Secretary, Carter was the main architect of the India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), and advocated support for treating India at the same level as their closest partner in terms of extent and level of technology transfer, co-development, co-production and collaborative ventures, expedited approval process for licenses among others, a Defence Ministry statement said.

He will reach New Delhi later in the evening. In addition to holding talks with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, he would also be meeting the National Security Advisor and the External Affairs Minister.

Carter would also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He had last week said the US is looking for new ways to complement India’s ‘Act East’ policy and find meaningful areas of cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

“The 2015 US-India Defense Framework I will sign next week will open up this relationship on everything from maritime security to aircraft carrier and jet engine technology cooperation,” Carter had told delegates at the Shangri-La Dialogue plenary session in Singapore.


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