'India-US defence ties made tremendous progress under Obama'

'India-US defence ties made tremendous progress under Obama'

A top Pentagon official has said the defence ties between the US and India has made tremendous progress under the Obama Administration and Washington was looking forward to Prime Minister Manomohan Singh's visit.

In fact, defense ties is expected to be a major issue of discussion when Prime Minister Singh meets President Barack Obama at the White House on September 27, the official said.

"India is a very good friend of the US. Relations have continued significantly over the last decade. Under the Obama Administration we have been making tremendous progress," Peter Lavoy, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, told reporters yesterday.

"We are very pleased with our relationship with India," Lavoy said, who recently accompanied the Defense Secretary on his South East Asia trip.

Though Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who has been on the job only for a few months, looks forward to his meeting with his Indian counterpart A K Antony, he said.

"The defense relationship is strong and we are looking forward to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to he United States in which they would discuss a wide range of issues to improve relationships between the two countries," he said.