US Defence Secy to visit India in April

US Defence Secy to visit India in April

 US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter will visit India in April, ostensibly to placate New Delhi, which recently conveyed its strong displeasure over Washington’s move to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

Carter will meet Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and will try to explain the “rationale” of recent notification by President Barack Obama’s administration to the US Congress about the possible sale of eight F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Pakistan. They will also review the bilateral defence cooperation and add momentum to several proposed supply of military hardware and transfer of technology from US to India.

Carter will also seek to fast-track talks on US offer to provide India with Apache attack and Chinook heavy lift helicopters as well as M777 howitzers.

Washington’s envoy to New Delhi, Richard R Verma recently cited the proposed supply of advanced military hardware to India as examples of strong bilateral defence cooperation, which he characterised as not only “unprecedented” in bilateral history, but also “qualitatively different” from the one that his country shared “with any other country in the region, or the world”.

“We are focused on helping Indian forces develop the capabilities and platforms that will allow them to fulfil India’s stated goal of becoming a leading power in the region and beyond,” Verma said at an event hosted by Indian Association for Foreign Affairs Correspondent and India International Centre. 

“For the United States this partnership is unique. There is no other country in the world that we are supporting as an emerging global defence leader. We have overhauled our approach to defence licensing to India with a presumption of approval for the vast majority of even the most sensitive platforms,” he added. Verma did not directly refer to US move to sell F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, but spoke about future of India-US defence cooperation.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry