DEFENCE AND ENERGY SHALL BE THE KEY DRIVERS OF A growing India-US relationship, even as convergence on a range of global strategic interests shall bring the world’s two largest democracies together in a closer embrace. This was the big message from US President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to India.
The big takeaway for the US President, known for his penchant for deals, was the signing of defence agreements worth more than $3 billion including the purchase of 24 MH60R naval helicopters and 6 AH-64E Apache gunships for the Indian armed forces. This takes the aggregate value of India-US defence deals since 2007 to $20 billion.
Amidst increasing military intimacy, the two countries also agreed to raise their bilateral relationship to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership.
“Earlier today, we expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than $3 billion of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters — the finest in the world. These deals will enhance our joint defence capabilities as our militaries continue to train and operate side-by-side,” Trump said in a statement delivered with Modi by his side after a bilateral delegation-level meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
Terming the India-US relationship as the “most important partnership of the 21st century”, Prime Minister Modi, in his statement, said “the increasing defence and security cooperation between India and the United States is a very important aspect of our strategic partnership”.
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