B'lore, Hyderabad to be key centres in Indo-US defence tie-up: US envoy

New Delhi, Feb 5:  The US on Thursday said that American companies will make Bangalore and Hyderabad "important sources" for cutting-edge technology as co-development and co-production of defence articles was the new course for collaborative partnership between the two countries.

The US also said that talks between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month have sowed the seeds that have the potential to make US-India partnership the "defining counter-terrorism relationship for the region in the 21st century".

US: B'lore, Hyderabad to be key centres

Talking about the way forward in Indo-US ties, AmericanAmbassador to India, Richard Verma, said that perhaps thetruest test of a friendship between countries is the degree towhich their armed forces trust and collaborate with each other.

"Ties between the US and Indian defence establishments took immense strides forward during President (Obama)'s visit," he said at a seminar at the Vivekananda International Foundation here. Verma wondered if anyone could have imagined a few yearsback that the US and India would have agreed to establish a joint working group on aircraft carrier technology.

"No example better illustrates the new course of our collaborative relationship than the decision by the US and Indian defence establishments and private sectors to pursue co-development and co-production of defence articles," he said, adding that such type of defence collaboration was only done with the closest partners.

"The US defence industry will now make Bangalore and Hyderabad important sources for cutting-edge technology," he said. However, he said that the three key and long-pending agreements -- CISMOA, BECA and LSA -- for greater synergy between the two militaries will continue to be on the agenda between the two countries.

Talking to reporters, Verma said that identifying four "pathfinder projects" under Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) during Obama's visit, besides agreeing on a working group on aircraft carrier technology is a very significant and exciting moment in ties between the two militaries.

"So let's get these going. I think to the extent we can address other agreements that are still out there, we will continue to keep those on the agenda," he told reporters when asked if India will have to rethink its policy of not signing the three "foundational agreements" if it wants high-end technology transfer from the US and their joint production.


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