Ashton Carter meets Manohar Parrikar, says India is a ‘major defence partner’, vows to expand bilateral cooperation in field

By: |
Updated: December 09, 2016 12:48 PM

Even as the Obama administration is on its way out and the newly elected president Donald Trump gets set to take over the reigns of running the country at the White House, outgoing American Defence Secretary Ashton Carter is in Delhi to expand the bilateral defence cooperation between both nations and take it to the next level.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with US Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter before their meeting at South Block in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with US Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter before their meeting at South Block in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

Even as the Obama administration is on its way out and the newly elected president Donald Trump gets set to take over the reigns of running the country at the White House, outgoing American Defence Secretary Ashton Carter is in Delhi to expand the bilateral defence cooperation between both nations and take it to the next level. Carter today met his counterpart Manohar Parrikar here and declared that India is a ‘major defence partner’. Carter met Parrikar for the record 7th time, a fact he himself pointed out. During their meet at South Block, Carter thanked ‘friend’ Parrikar and added, “He is the Defence Minister with whom I have met for the maximum number of times.” Carter went on to underline the significance US attaches to its ties with India and said, “Today our defence relationship takes a major step as we designate India as a major defence partner.”

This has come quickly in the wake of a US Congress panel, on November 30, ordering Carter and the Secretary of State to ensure recognition of India as US’s major defence partner to boost bilateral security cooperation. The Congressional report that has been chalked out asked both these officials to assess the extent to which India possesses capabilities to support and carry out military operations of mutual interest.

On his part, Parrikar said, “It is not an exaggeration that our defence relations are a major driver in our bilateral relations.” And averred that India recognises the fact that Carter’s conceptualisation of the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) has indicated his interest in boosting the two nations’ bilateral defence cooperation. Parrikar highlighted Carter’s contribution by saying, “I am confident that the defence cooperation will expand on the foundation you have built”. To this Carter replied, “I am proud of what we have achieved my friend”.

The India-United States Joint Statement issued after the meet said, “Today we finalized India’s designation as a ‘Major Defense Partner’ of the United States. The designation as a ‘Major Defense Partner’ is a status unique to India and institutionalizes the progress made to facilitate defense trade and technology sharing with India to a level at par with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.”

The joint statement also highlighted India’s concerns on terror. It specifically said that, “They (the two countries) agreed to continue further strengthening the bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation and underlined the need to ensure that terror groups receive no patronage from any State”.

However, this is not the end of the road for the process as it still needs to be passed by the two chambers of the Congress – the House of Representatives and Senate – and then it has to be signed by US President Barack Obama to turn it into a law.

India-United States Joint Statement on the visit of Secretary of Defense Carter to India – December 8, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter made an official visit to India at the invitation of Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar today, marking the seventh interaction between the two leaders. Raksha Mantri Parrikar and Secretary Carter reviewed the tremendous progress made in bilateral defense ties and discussed the immense promise for the future of India-U.S. security cooperation.

Both sides exchanged views on regional security issues including the threat posed by terrorism. They agreed to continue further strengthening the bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation and underlined the need to ensure that terror groups receive no patronage from any State.

Citing common values and our shared desire for peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region, the two leaders reflected on the convergence of interests that have driven the strategic and technological “handshakes” between our nations, and led to historic progress in our bilateral relationship.

India-U.S. defense relations in recent years have moved along a remarkable upward trajectory. Marked progress on agreements, including the signing of a Defense Framework Agreement in 2015, have laid a blueprint for collaboration between our defense establishments and enabled deeper cooperation. Joint exchange opportunities – in both personnel and training exercises – have expanded and strengthened our bilateral cooperation. The recent signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) has facilitated additional opportunities for practical engagement and exchange.

Today we finalized India’s designation as a “Major Defense Partner” of the United States. The designation as a “Major Defense Partner” is a status unique to India and institutionalizes the progress made to facilitate defense trade and technology sharing with India to a level at par with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.

Raksha Mantri Parrikar and Secretary Carter applauded the deepened scope of India-U.S. military-to-military ties, which includes a dramatic increase in defense trade.

With regard to technology, both sides welcomed the tremendous progress achieved under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and committed to explore new proposals and other innovative opportunities forco-production and co-development. The emergence of DTTI as an integral and enduring component of India-U.S. security cooperation is a sign that the relationship has matured to a level of strategic importance. DTTI will strengthen India’s “Make in India” initiative and both sides committed to convening all new DTTI working groups prior to the next DTTI Group meeting anticipated for February 2017.

Raksha Mantri Parrikar and Secretary Carter agreed that the strong partnership between our countries is lasting and will thrive and grow for decades to come.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Assembly polls ahead, BJP’s UP face Yogi Adityanath is guest at e-Adda today
2Punjab CM Amarinder Singh meets three-member Congress panel amid rift with Navjot Singh Sidhu
3Uphaar fire tragedy: Sushil Ansal falsified information to get passport renewed, police tells court