It is in US' interest to support India's rise: Cong panel

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Washington, Jun 25: Asserting that it is in the US' interest to support India's rise through military-to-military ties, arms sales and exercises, a key Congressional committee has sought a report from Pentagon by November 1 on a five-year action plan to strengthen bilateral defence relations.

The powerful Senate Armed Services Committee said it believes that a deepening global strategic partnership between the US and India will be critical to the maintenance and expansion of a rules-based international system that promotes freedom, democracy, security, prosperity and the rule of law in the 21st century.

"It is in the national interest of the United States, through military-to-military relations, arms sales, bilateral and multilateral joint exercises and other means, to support India's rise and build a strategic and military culture of cooperation and interoperability between our two countries, in particular with regard to the Indo-Pacific region," said the India section of the committee's latest 343-page report.

The committee noted that combined naval exercises, conducted between the United States and India, have become a vital pillar of stability, security and free and open trade, in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

"Recent US arms sales to India, including C-130J military transport aircraft, a US amphibious transport dock, UH-3H Sea King helicopters, counter-battery radar sets, and P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft, have benefited the United States and India alike, increasing commonality of military equipment platforms and contributing to security in the Indo-Pacific region," the report said.

It also noted that India recently announced its intention to purchase 10 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. 

PTI

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