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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Says Major Defense Partner Status for India 'Very Close to Finishing Line'

Sputnik News

17:55 08.12.2016(updated 17:58 08.12.2016)

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter hopes that Barack Obama will grant India the status of a major defense partner (MDP) soon. On his seventh visit to India, the MDP and LSA will be Carter's achievements in furthering Indo-US defense ties.

NEW DELHI – On his seventh and last visit to India as US Defence Secretary, Ashton Carter is hopeful of Barack Obama according major defense partner (MDP) status to India

"It's [MDP] very close the finish line. It permits us to do things with India that have never been possible before. And it creates a presumption of approval for transactions with India," Carter was quoted on the US Department of Defense website.

Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar responded by observing that defence relations are a major driver of Indo-US bilateral relations.

The two Defense Ministers were speaking to the media after holding delegation level talks. For India, the meeting was part of its balancing act between Russia and the US. Parrikar had recently met his Russian counterpart Gen Sergey Shoigu in New Delhi and proposed joint ventures in producing spares for military equipment. The intention is to meet the demands of not just Russian origin Indian military equipment but to cater to other countries with similar defense hardware.

India expects lower barriers to importing high-end defense equipment once Obama okays the MDP status. India has presented a long wish list of technology transfer based cooperation in several meeting of the Indo-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

India has so far balanced the US and Russia in importing defense equipment. It recently signed a contract with the US for importing light howitzers. This was preceded by an understanding with Russia for importing three frigates and S-400 missiles.

Carter has been successful in persuading the Indian government to sign the Logistics Sharing Arrangement, a modified version of the Access and Cross Sharing Arrangement (ACSA) with several other quasi-military allies. However the pact has not become operational because of technical issues on the Indian side.


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