India, America destined to be strategic partners: Ashton Carter

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Terming India a rising military power, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said that the two countries were destined to be strategic partners in future.

“I believe it is an important stop because I believe India and the United States are destined to be strategic partners in the future,” Carter told journalists travelling with him from Japan to New Delhi on Wednesday.

“It is a large country, it’s a rising military power, it is a democracy with which we share many common values and approaches to the world,” he added.

The defence secretary went on to describe India a “major defence partner” and the recent relations between the two countries as “strategic handshakes.”

“The concourse between our peoples is very strong. We’re both multicultural societies, but nevertheless, hold together extremely well. So we have a lot in common, both strategically and in terms of who we are,” Carter maintained.

The defence secretary further said, “This is a relationship that we’ve all watched for a long time, but it has grown by leaps and bounds just in the last few years, as measured by the pace of joint activities between our two militaries including exercises.”

Regarding the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), Carter said there were a lot of projects underway as the two countries were working out technical and sometimes economic details of them.

“We are encouraging India, and again, India has some desire to increase its pace of exercises. The extent to which those exercises are not just US-India exercise, but US-India-Japan exercises, US-India-Australia exercises, things that show that spreading of that network I have been talking about,” Carter concluded.