India-US to enhance defence cooperation, says PM Modi

New Delhi, Jan 25: The Defence Framework Agreement between India and US is being renewed, and the two countries will take cooperation in this field to a new level, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday.

'Ind-US to enhance defence cooperation'
The prime minister said the two sides have "in principle" agreed to pursue "co-development and co-production of specific advanced defence projects".

"These will help upgrade our domestic defence industry; and expand the manufacturing sector in India. We will also explore cooperation in other areas of advanced defence technologies," Modi said.

Cooperation will also be deepened in the field of maritime security, he added.

Modi further said India and the US are moving towards commercial cooperation of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal.

"Civil nuclear deal was the centerpiece of our transformed relationships which demonstrated new trust. It also created new economic opportunities and expanded our options for clean energy," Modi said, addressing a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama here.

"In the course of past four months, we have worked with a sense of purpose to move it forward."

"I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving toward commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligation, and technical and commercial viability," Modi said.

A contact group, comprising nuclear officials from both sides, has held three rounds of talks in the past 45 days pointing to the urgency the both sides hold to resolve niggling issues.

Besides US misgivings over India's stringent civil nuclear liability law that puts the onus for any accident on suppliers, the other issue that India has objection to is the US insistence on control in perpetuity over the nuclear fuel and equipment.


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