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Foundational agreements with India  for additional defence cooperation: US

Washington: India signing two foundational agreements with the US would provide the framework for additional and long-lasting defence co-operation between the two countries, the Trump Administration has said.

Tina Kaidanow, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs was in New Delhi recently and discussed these agreements with Indian officials.

“It matters that we pursue some of the foundational agreements that we’ve been trying to pursue. It matters that we continue our efforts on technology security. It matters because those are the kinds of things that would provide the framework for additional and long lasting cooperation, whether it’s space or another things,” she said.

Kaidanow said  the US wants to build long lasting, long term relationships with the countries in the region.

These foundational agreements, she insisted, are very similar for the vast array of partners and friends that the US does on a routine basis.

“We want very much India to be in that group. We improved obviously. We have indicated that India is now major defence partner for US. We want very much to do similar things with India as we are doing with a number of those other countries,” she said.

“If we want that defense relationship to be everything it can be, if we want to realize that full potential, then those foundational agreements are important and we are going to need to find that way forward,” Kaidanow said.

Kaidanow said the US has presented to Indians some good options to move forward.

“I think we can hopefully make some progress in that relatively soon,” she said.

Noting that bilateral defense trade has gone up from near zero to US$ 15 million since 2008, she said there is a lot more that could be done by putting some of those foundational agreements in place.

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