Washington: Perhaps mindful of the rebuffs it has received in the past whenever it has sought to formalise military arrangements, the Pentagon said it would seek to build a special relationship with India in the defence arena without coupling it to a defence treaty or trying to gain additional access for itself inside the country.
''Right now, to be very honest, I don't see that we are looking for enhancing our access within India, outside of the opportunities for exercises and training that we already do,'' the deputy assistant secretary of defence for south and southeast Asia, Robert Scher, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.
''I think we need to do more along these lines and work more closely with our Government of India counterparts in the services before we're looking at anything more than where we are in terms of gaining more access,'' Scher said in response to a question.
''The key part of our posture in the Indian Ocean, in the western Pacific is not just about access, but it's about how we work with countries, what we do and how we cooperate with them to serve our common interests,'' he noted.
Scher said there is no plan for a special defence treaty with India.
''We have no plans on creating a special defence treaty or any signed agreement. Most importantly, I don't think we need it. I think we've seen that there is a tremendous amount of cooperation that we can and continue to build on, that we can do with India minus any kind of formal agreement,'' he said.