November 04, 2011

'Pentagon report encouraging sign of growing Indo-US ties'

PTI | Nov 4, 2011, 08.43AM IST

Read More:US-Indian Defence Trade|US-India Security Co-Operation|US Congress|National Defense Authorisation Act|India-US Relations

WASHINGTON: The recent Pentagon report on Indo-US military-to-military ties signifies America's commitment for strengthening relations with India, top US Senators have said.

"This report is an encouraging sign that the Administration is committed to strengthening our relationship with India," said Senator Joe Lieberman.

The Pentagon is working towards a series of steps, including co-development of armaments, transfer of some of its most advanced technologies, to strengthen military to military co-operation between the US and India, it said in its one-of-its kind rare report on India submitted to the US Congress on Tuesday.

"As the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy, the United States and India are natural partners," he said, adding the two countries face many of the same regional and global security challenges.

"While the report shows that tremendous progress has been made in military-to-military relations over the past ten years, we believe that there is much more that can be done," he said.

"Deepening our co-operation on emerging threats, such as cyber warfare and terrorism, and pro-actively seeking opportunities for enhanced US-Indian defence trade and armaments cooperation must be among the top priorities in our foreign policy in the years ahead to ensure that the full potential of this partnership is realised," Lieberman said.

Senator John Cornyn said the US and India share common ideals such as representative government and a free market economy, but they also share common security challenges.

"This DoD report affirms the importance and strength of the growing defense relationship between our two democracies, which will be critical to confronting those global and regional security challenges in the decades ahead," he said.

It was Senators Lieberman and Cornyn who had requested a Department of Defence report onUS-India Security Co-operation as part of an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) that was passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee this summer.

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