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India, US to expand defence cooperation news
28 September 2013

India and the United States have agreed to significantly expand defence cooperation and bilateral engagement in step with the overall deepening of India-US relations and vowed to continue to work towards achieving the full vision of expanded defence cooperation set forth in their 2005 New Framework Agreement.

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at their summit meeting in Washington, expressed satisfaction with the progress so far achieved in defence relations and emphasised the need for more intensive defence cooperation on both sides.

The leaders reaffirmed their desire to further strengthen defence trade and endorsed a joint declaration on defence cooperation as a means of enhancing their partnership in defence technology transfer, joint research, co-development and co-production.

President Obama encouraged the further participation of US firms in partnering India`s efforts to enhance its defence capacities.

The President also welcomed India's decision to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise hosted by US Pacific Command in 2014.

The two leaders stressed the need for joint and concerted efforts to dismantle terrorist safe havens and disrupt all financial and tactical support for terrorism.

India and the US will significantly expand information sharing and intelligence cooperation to address threats to their respective nations, including strengthening the bilateral relationship to exchange information on known and suspected terrorists.

They stressed the importance of expanding homeland security cooperation to enhance exchanges on megacity policing strategies, securing the global supply chain and anti-counterfeiting efforts.

India welcomed the US offer of membership in the US 'Global Entry' Trusted Traveller Network Programme, to facilitate expedited entry of Indian travellers to the United States.

A vision statement endorsed by India and the United States outlines the following general principles for fulfilling bilateral defence cooperation, including trade and military exercises:

The United States and India share common security interests and place each other at the same level as their closest partners. This principle will apply with respect to defence technology transfer, trade, research, co-development and co-production for defence articles and services, including the most advanced and sophisticated technology.

They will work to improve licensing processes, and, where applicable, follow expedited license approval processes to facilitate this cooperation. The US and India are also committed to protecting each other's sensitive technology and information.

The US continues to fully support India`s full membership in the four international export control regimes, which would further facilitate technology sharing.

The two sides will continue their efforts to strengthen mutual understanding of their respective procurement systems and approval processes, and to address process-related difficulties in defence trade, technology transfer and collaboration.

The two sides look forward to the identification of specific opportunities for cooperative and collaborative projects in advanced defence technologies and systems, within the next year. Such opportunities will be pursued by both sides in accordance with their national policies and procedures, in a manner that would reflect the full potential of the relationship.

Marking their third bilateral summit, the two leaders reflected on the transformation of US-India relations during the last decade, affirming that the partnership between the two democratic nations is stronger today than at any point in their 67-year history.

President Obama and Prime Minister Singh pledged to make the next decade equally as transformative and challenging for their governments to reach the full potential of this partnership, particularly in the areas of security cooperation, bilateral trade and investment, energy and environment, higher education, and global architecture.

The leaders discussed ways to strengthen bilateral efforts to promote energy efficiency, clean energy, and address climate change.

In the civil nuclear power sector, they welcomed the announcement that India's Nuclear Power Corporation Ltd (NPCIL) and US nuclear company Westinghouse have concluded a preliminary contract to develop a nuclear power plant in Gujarat.

The leaders also gave the go-ahead to NPCIL and US companies Westinghouse and General Electric-Hitachi to expedite the necessary work to establish nuclear power plants in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

The two leaders endorsed the proposal to launch a new initiative - Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) - under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), to rapidly deploy innovative renewable energy solutions to those who currently lack access to energy.

They also announced the establishment of an India-US Climate Change Working Group to develop and advance action-oriented cooperation in developing an ambitious climate change agreement for the post-2020 period.

The two leaders agreed to immediately convene the India-US task force on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to phase down consumption and production of HFCs, based on economically-viable and technically feasible alternatives.

Besides, the two leaders called for expanding security cooperation between the United States and India to address 21st century challenges in the areas of counter-terrorism, cyber, space, and global health security.

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India, US to expand defence cooperation