Civil nuclear deal to increase Indo-US defence trade: Lippert

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Washington, Nov 19: Describing the US-India defence ties as "strong and growing," a top US official has told lawmakers that the civil nuclear deal between the two countries would lead to increased defence trade.

"The civil-nuclear cooperation agreement was a landmark agreement that significantly transformed the US-India bilateral relationship," Mark Lippert said during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination as the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.

"The agreement has also deepened the level of trust between the United States and India that will have positive effects on DoD interests and will hopefully lead to greater military-to-military cooperation and increased defense trade," he said.

If confirmed, Lippert said he believe US priorities for this relationship should be focused on increasing maritime security cooperation, expanding the military-to-military ties and deepening cooperation on defence trade and production.

"Additionally, I believe there is potential for cooperating on counter-proliferation, collaborating on humanitarian assistance and disaster response, dealing with piracy, cooperating on counter-terrorism, greater intelligence sharing on common threats, and working towards stability in Afghanistan and the broader Indian Ocean region," he said.

Observing that a close and continuing security relationship with India will be important for security in Asia and for effectively managing Indian Ocean security in the 21st century, Lippert said the US and India have a range of common security interests that include maritime security, counter- terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.


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