'Defence cooperation important pillar of India-US ties'

Defence cooperation is one of the pillars of the India-US partnership that "greatly benefits the security and prosperity of both countries", a US official said Tuesday.

IANS| Last Updated: Mar 03, 2015, 21:21 PM IST

New Delhi: Defence cooperation is one of the pillars of the India-US partnership that "greatly benefits the security and prosperity of both countries", a US official said Tuesday.

Admiral Harry Harris, junior commander of the US Pacific Fleet, in a statement issued by the US embassy here said that he was enthusiastic about a "shared future" based on the strategic view of US President Barack Obama that the relationship between India and the US can be one of the "defining partnerships of this century".

"While some say the vastness of the Indian and Pacific oceans is what separates us, I believe these waters are what bring us together. Both oceans provide a literal and metaphoric sea lane to enhanced bilateral and multilateral cooperation," Harris, who is is set to meet Indian officials here this week, said in the statement.

Talking about the commonalities between the two forces, he said the two navies enjoy a shared heritage and common focus: a safe and secure maritime domain is critical to our economies.

That we face common threats and count on open sea lanes for our collective prosperity underscores the benefit of a strong navy-to-navy relationship, he added.

"An enhanced India-US partnership helps us ensure that other nations respect international law and drives our mutual commitment to open access by all nations to the shared global commons of sea, air, space and cyberspace," he said.

"Your chief of Navy, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, has said that the relationship between our two navies is deep, multi-faceted, and includes interactions both at the institutional and individual levels. I could not agree more," Harris said.