Washington, March 4
The sale of major defence equipment to India, which now stands at $20 billion, shows America’s commitment to India’s security and sovereignty, the Biden administration said.
“As of this year, the United States has authorised over $20 billion in defence sales to India. It’s these offers of advanced US defence platforms that demonstrate our commitment to India’s security and sovereignty,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
“It demonstrates our commitment to that global, comprehensive, strategic partnership,” he said. The spokesperson was asked if the new Biden administration is reviewing its defence deals with India as it is doing with some other countries.
“I don’t have anything for you on pending sales or the review process for them. As I understand it, there is nothing currently in train that India has accepted. But if there is any change in the status of pending transfers, I’m happy to let you know,” he said.
In a recent interview, India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said bilateral military and security ties are stronger than ever before. India’s designation as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ and accordance of Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 Status by the US, and the signing of the four foundational agreements with Washington will enhance military-to-military cooperation between the two countries, Sandhu said. India has signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), Industrial Security Annex and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) to facilitate mil-to-mil cooperation, he said. —PTI