US hopeful of getting larger Defence deals from India

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Bangalore, Feb 9 (ANI): US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer has said the removal of the hurdles from the list of banned entities by the USA is very significant for future business opportunities and bilateral trade with India, prompting New Delhi to rely more on Washington for military hardware.

Addressing a conference US Aerospace and Defence Industry hosted during the lively Aero India 2011 airs show, Roemer said: "The two highest priorities for the Indian government would have been and I am not sure in what order - UN (Security Council) permanent membership and a pledge by the United States for the seat which they receives and removal of the entities from the entities list. It is very significant for future business, opportunities (and) trade."

Commenting on the sale of arms to Pakistan, he observed that whenever the US sells arms to Pakistan it keeps a vigil for which purpose the military hardware is used.

"When an arm sale is done to a particular country, we are adamant that those arms are used in a particular way. I want to assure you that United State's Congress when the arms sale to Pakistan that are intended to counter terrorism issues, our Congress was very vigilant, very determined and very tenacious to oversee if that's what those weapons will be used for," he said.

Roemer also said that US is looking at defence sales and strategic cooperation to further deepen its relationship with India.

"We are hopeful, we are optimistic that India recognises this superior technology, put on super Hercules, super Viper, super Hornets and we hope to continue to make sales that will make India safer, that will make India more modernised and will continue to show the global relationship the United States and India has," added Roemer.

Also present on the occasion was the US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who is presently on a five-day visit to India to widen economic relations, particularly in bridging trade gaps.

The US trade delegation would highlight export opportunities and efforts to break down tariff and non-tariff barriers for US businesses in the advanced industrial sector - civil-nuclear trade, defence and security, civil aviation, and information and communication technologies.

The delegation arrived in New Delhi on Sunday and it would visit key centres around the country till February 11. (ANI)

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