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India-United States Joint Statement on the visit of Secretary of Defense Carter to India from April 10-13, 2016



India-United States Joint Statement on the visit of Secretary of Defense Carter to India from April 10-13, 2016

Following is the text of the Indo-US Joint Statement on the visit of Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton Carter to India from April 10-13, 2016:

U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton Carter is on an official visit to India at the invitation of Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar from April 10-13, 2016. Raksha Mantri hosted Secretary Carter in Goa. They visited the Indian Naval Base in Karwar and the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. They also visited the USS Blue Ridge which was conducting a port call in Goa during the Secretary’s visit. Secretary Carter then traveled to New Delhi for official talks with Raksha Mantri. He will also meet the National Security Advisor and the Prime Minister.

The United States and India share a deep and abiding interest in global peace, prosperity, and stability. Bilateral Defence cooperation is a key component of the strategic partnership between India and the United States.Secretary Carter’s visit marked the fourth meeting between him and Raksha Mantri Parrikar within a year, demonstrating the regular Ministerial-level oversight of the robust and deepening bilateral Defence relationship.

During their meeting, Raksha Mantri Parrikar and Secretary Carter reviewed the important steps taken since the signing of the new Framework for the U.S.-India Defense Relationship last June to deepen bilateral defence ties. They discussed the priorities for the coming year in defence ties, as well as specific steps both sides will take to pursue those priorities. These included expanding collaboration under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI); Make in India efforts of Government of India; new opportunities to deepen cooperation in maritime security and Maritime Domain Awareness; military-to-military relations; the knowledge partnership in the field of defence; and regional and international security matters of mutual interest.

Raksha Mantri Parrikar and Secretary Carter welcomed the efforts by the Indian and U.S. Armed Forces to further expand collaboration in the years to come. They welcomed plans across our Services for greater complexity in their military engagements and exercises, including developing plans for more advanced maritime exercises. Both sides acknowledged India's participation in the Rim-of-the-Pacific (RIMPAC) multilateral naval exercise in 2016 as well as participation by the Indian Air Force in the multilateral Red Flag exercise in April-May 2016 in Alaska and U.S. participation in the International Fleet Review of the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam in February 2016.They expressed their desire to explore agreements which would facilitate further expansion of bilateral defence cooperation in practical ways. In this regard, they announced their in principle agreement to conclude a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement, and to continue working toward other facilitating agreements to enhance military cooperation and technology transfer.

In support of the India-U.S. Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and the maritime security objectives therein, both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of maritime security. In this context, they reaffirmed their desire to expeditiously conclude a “white shipping” technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic. They agreed to commence Navy-to-Navy discussions on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare. They also agreed to launch a bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue, co-chaired by officials at the Joint Secretary/Assistant Secretary-level of the Indian Ministries of Defence and External Affairs and the U.S. Departments of Defense and State.

Secretary Carter and Raksha Mantri Parrikar reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, including in the South China Sea. They vowed their support for a rules-based order and regional security architecture conducive to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, and emphasized their commitment to working together and with other nations to ensure the security and stability that have been beneficial to the Asia-Pacific for decades.

Raksha Mantri Parrikar and Secretary Carter reviewed the progress and reiterated their commitment to pursue co-development and co-production of advanced defence articles under the DTTI. In this context, they agreed to initiate two new DTTI pathfinder projects on Digital Helmet Mounted Displays and the Joint Biological Tactical Detection System. They commended the on-going discussions at the Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group (JETJWG)and the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC). They agreed to work towards greater cooperation in the field of cutting-edge defence technologies, including deepening consultations on aircraft carrier design and operations, and jet engine technology. They noted the understanding reached to conclude an information exchange annex (IEA) to enhance data and information sharing specific to aircraft carriers.

With the aim of encouraging greater participation of U.S. Defence Industries in the Make In India program of the Government of India, Raksha Mantri Parrikar informed Secretary Carter about the recently announced Defence Procurement Policy and other reforms in the Indian defence sector. Both sides agreed to encourage their respective defence industries to develop new partnerships in the pursuit of a range of cutting-edge projects. In support of Make in India, the United States shared two proposals to bolster India's suite of fighter aircraft for consideration of the Government of India.

Secretary Carter and Raksha Mantri Parrikar welcomed the finalization of four government-to-government project agreements in the area of science and technology cooperation: Atmospheric Sciences for High Energy Lasers, Cognitive Tools for Target Detection, Small Intelligent Unmanned Aerial Systems, and Blast and Blunt Traumatic Brain Injury.

Before departing India, Secretary Carter will oversee a repatriation ceremony of U.S. World War II remains from India to the United States. Secretary Carter expressed his gratitude to Raksha Mantri Parrikar and the Government of India for their support in facilitating the recovery effort. The Indian Government agreed to support America’s commitment to bringing its fallen personnel home and providing their families the fullest possible accounting, and looks forward to further humanitarian missions of this kind over the next few years to return the remains of these U.S. heroes to their families. 

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Raksha Mantri’s Statement at the Joint Press Conference with Dr Ashton Carter, United States Defence Secretary
The following is the full text of Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar’s speech delivered at the Joint Press Conference with Secretary of Defence of the United States Dr. Ashton Carter:-

Your Excellency Dr Ashton Carter, Defence Secretary of the United States, Distinguished Members of the Media,

It is indeed a great pleasure for me to receive Dr Carter in India. This is his second visit in less than a year, reflecting his continued interest in expanding bilateral defence relations between our two countries. We in India regard Dr Carter as a great friend and advocate of a stronger India-US partnership. We appreciate his personal commitment and guidance in deepening the strategic partnership between India and the United States.

Our discussions, spread over the past three days, have been marked by characteristic warmth, candour and a sense of mutual purpose. I am confident that the India-US relationship will be one of the key global partnerships of this Century. Defence cooperation is a central pillar of India’s multi-faceted relationship with the US. A stronger India-US partnership will promote peace, stability and progress in our region and the world.

As many of you are aware, Secretary Carter is the architect of the India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative. DTTI has provided an unprecedented platform for our two countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation in cutting-edge technologies and to address procedural delays in decision-making. We have decided to take forward discussions under DTTI more aggressively on key areas such as Jet Engine technology. We will also continue our very useful and productive discussions on cooperation in the framework of the Joint Working Group on aircraft carriers. We also agreed to expand DTTI by introducing new and more ambitious projects for mutual collaboration. Both of us noted the strong complementarities between DTTI and the Make in India initiative. I hope to work together with Secretary Carter over the coming weeks and months to facilitate synergies between Indian and US companies in high technology areas, and in particular to promote participation of Indian companies in global supply chains.

I was deeply honoured by Secretary Carter’s acceptance of my invitation to visit Goa as well as the Indian naval base in Karwar and INS Vikramaditya, which showcase the finest capabilities of the Indian Navy. We also visited the USS Blue Ridge, which is currently on a goodwill visit to India.

These visits underline the growing importance of the maritime dimension of our relationship, as manifested in the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean region. It was entirely appropriate that we visited India’s western shores. Even as we work with the United States to realize the full potential of India’s Act East policy, we also seek a closer partnership with the United States to promote our shared interests in India’s West, especially in the context of the emerging situation in West Asia.

With a view to taking our cooperation forward, Secretary Carter and I have agreed to set up a new bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue between officials from our respective Defence and External Affairs Ministries. We have also decided to enhance our on-going Navy-to-Navy discussions to cover submarine-related issues. Both countries will also deepen cooperation in Maritime Domain Awareness by finalizing a ‘White Shipping’ Agreement.

The growing interaction between our armed forces is another significant aspect of our bilateral partnership. Today, India has more joint exercises with the United States than with any other country in the world. After a few years, we are taking part in multilateral exercises such as the Red Flag Air Force exercise and the RIMPAC Naval Exercise. As our engagement deepens, we need to develop practical mechanisms to facilitate such exchanges. In this context, Secretary Carter and I agreed in principle to conclude a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in the coming months.

We also discussed the regional security environment. I underlined India’s continuing concern at terrorism in the region directed against us. Secretary Carter emphasised that eliminating terrorism, and the ideology and infrastructure that supports it, is a common objective the United States shares with India. We look forward to even closer bilateral cooperation with the United States on counter-terrorism.

Ladies and gentlemen,

India and the United States are both strongly committed to a rule-based international order. We will continue to work together to maintain peace and stability and to maintain an enabling framework for progress and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. It is the convergence of our core democratic values and deeply shared interests that drives our relationship forward. Secretary Carter’s visit has elevated our strategic partnership to a higher level. I look forward to working together with him in the days ahead to implement the decisions that we have reached during this visit.

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