United States Defence Secretary Ashton Carter termed India a “major defence partner” when he called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
Carter said India was as a “rising military power” and pointed out commonalities between the two countries saying: “India and the United States are destined to be strategic partners in the future.”
“It (India) is a large country, it’s a rising military power, it is a democracy with which we share many common values and approaches to the world,” Carter told reporters travelling with him to New Delhi from Japan, the Indian Express reported.
“The concourse between our peoples is very strong. We’re both multicultural societies, but nevertheless, hold together extremely well. So we have a lot in common, both strategically and in terms of who we are,” he added.
Carter described the relationship between India and the US as “strategic handshakes”.
“This is a relationship that we’ve all watched for a long time, but it has grown by leaps and bounds just in the last few years.”
He said in terms of defence, the relationship can be “measured” by “the pace of joint activities that we do between our two militaries, including exercises, which one of our largest programmes of exercises, their extension in scope, including two trilateral exercises as well as bilateral exercises”.
Earlier this year, the United States and India signed a defence agreement ─ the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement ─ which allows the two allies to use each other’s military facilities.
The pact allows each country to use the other for supplies, spare parts, services and refuelling. Effectively, US armed forces can operate out of Indian bases, and India can use US bases across the globe.
courtesy : dawn news