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Defence relationship between India, US 'stands on its own'

PTI 18 Oct 2015, 20:15:00 IST

Chennai: The defence relationship between India and US "stands on its own" and the impact of this association from a strategic point of view besides others is to "increase peace and stability and prosperity," a top envoy of that country said today.

"I think the US and India defence relationship stands on its own... when we think about our shared values -- rule of law, constitutional democracy (and) peaceful resolution of disputes -- and that the real impact of our two nations coming together from a strategic point of view, an economic point of
view, political point is actually to increase peace and stability and prosperity," US Ambassador to India Richard Verma told a press meet here.

His response came to a scribe's question on Pakistan national security adviser Sartaj Aziz's reported remarks that US-India strategic collaboration should not increase so much that it should become a "threat" to the integrity of the region.

"I remember what (US) Vice-President (Joe) Biden said a few years ago that if the US and India are the closest friends and partners, the world will be a safer place. That is the heart of this relationship," he added.

Verma pointed out at the growth in bilateral relations, including in areas of defence, energy, climate and environment and agriculture, among others, and said that there was almost no area that the two countries were not working together.

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He also referred to the forming of an Aircraft Carrier Working Group, a joint effort between the two countries "looking at the future of carrier cooperation" between them.

India did more military exercises with US than any other country and "we are very excited about our strategic partnership and how far and fast its grown," he said.

The Ambassador, who was here to witness the naval exercises 'Malabar 2015' between India, US and Japan, called the three navies "joint partners" that were "committed to the peaceful resolutions of disputes, committed to the rule of law and civilian control of the military."

The three navies were "natural partners" with a "certain sophistication" in that partnership, Verma said, while echoing his Navy's stand that the ongoing exercise was not against any country, especially China even as the country had "a lot of military to military contact" with the Asian giant.

"This really is not about trying to create distance between ourselves and China," he said, adding the navies of Japan, India and the US were aligned in a way that they shared common values.