New Delhi [India], Dec. 8 : Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday finalised India's designation as a "Major Defence Partner" of the United States, institutionalising the progress made to facilitate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level on par with the United States' closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.
With regard to technology, both sides welcomed the tremendous progress achieved under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and committed to explore new proposals and other innovative opportunities for co-production and co-development, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence.
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.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Defence Secretary Ashton Carter applauded the deepened scope of India-U.S.
military-to-military ties, which includes a dramatic increase in defence trade. Carter is on an official visit to India at the invitation of Parrikar, marking the seventh interaction between the two leaders.
They also reviewed the tremendous progress made in bilateral defence ties and discussed the immense promise for the future of India-U.S.
security cooperation. Parrikar and Carter agreed that the strong partnership between our countries is lasting and will thrive and grow for decades to come.
Both sides exchanged views on regional security issues, including the threat posed by terrorism and 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.
The India-U.S. defence 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.
Carter also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and briefed him on the progress in taking forward the decisions and understandings reached in June this year.
The Prime Minister, on the other hand, appreciated the contribution made by Secretary Carter in strengthening the defence cooperation between India and the U.S.