India-US defence dialogue held ahead of naval drillFebruary 23rd, 2012 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Ahead of their navies holding a massive war game in the Bay of Bengal, India and the US held their annual Defence Policy Group (DPG) dialogue here to review the entire gamut of their bilateral military relations.
US Acting Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Jim Miller and Indian Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma co-chaired the 12th dialogue at South Block here on Tuesday, a US embassy release said.
Miller discussed with his DPG counterpart the US-India strategic partnership and the growing defence relationship, which includes defence trade, military-to-military training and exercises and technical cooperation.
In addition, Miller also met with Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, where the discussions focused on bilateral defence issues, the release said.
Miller also met National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, where the two sides addressed a range of regional and global issues.
“The US-India relationship is built on a strong foundation of common interests and values. The United States sees India as a partner in advancing stability and security in the region and globally, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership on defence and security,” Miller said.
The next meeting of the Defence Policy Group would be held in Washington in 2013.
India and US are already preparing to hold the next edition of their Malabar navy exercise in the Bay of Bengal in April.
This exercise has been a bilateral effort since 1992 to increase the interoperability of the two navies. However, the 2007 exercise in the Bay of Bengal was a multilateral games with Australia, Japan and Singapore joining India and US that raised the hackles of China.
The two air forces too hold annual joint exercises and in 2008 India was invited to participate in the prestigious Red Flag exercises in the US.
This apart the armies of the two countries too hold their annual counter-terrorism and other exercises to improve their skills in modern age warfare.
In all, the two militaries have held over 60 war games on land, sea and in the air in the last decade.
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