Washington: Ties between the US and Indian militaries are
growing, a senior defence official said on Friday, noting recent bilateral
security talks between the two countries reaffirmed the partnership and
the growing US interest in advancing it.
Acting under secretary of defence for policy James Miller joined Indian
defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma in co-chairing the 12th annual
US-India Defence Policy Group dialogue in New Delhi on February 21 and 22.
Speaking during a media roundtable on Friday, Obert Scher, deputy
assistant secretary of defence for South and Southeast Asia, said the
trip, Miller's first since assuming his post, demonstrates the US'
commitment to its relationship with India, Xinhua reported.
Scher noted that India is the only country the new strategy guidance
specifically identifies for increased engagement, reflecting the priority
both US President Barack Obama and the Pentagon place on the partnership.
The annual Defence Policy Group meetings aim to advance the two countries'
strategic defence relationship, enabling them to set priorities, take
stock of progress and work through hurdles that stand in the way, Scher
said, focusing on defence procurement and production, technical
cooperation, military-to-military cooperation and technical security.
Scher said that Miller and Sharma agreed to continue concentrating on
maritime security cooperation, defense trade and developing new,
cooperative research and development projects for the upcoming year.
Both expressed an interest in increasing personal interactions at all
levels in their defence and military establishments through continued
dialogue, exercises, personal exchanges and training associated with
defence sales, Scher said.