Indo-US military logistics pact is mundane: Richard Verma
US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Wednesday said the military logistics memorandum agreement signed with India was mundane in nature and was only limited to logistics.
Kolkata: US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Wednesday said the military logistics memorandum agreement signed with India was mundane in nature and was only limited to logistics.
"The logistics memorandum agreement between India and the US is only limited to logistics and mundane in nature. There is no question of India compromising on its security by signing the pact," Verma told reporters at the Press Club here.
He said the agreement would enable both countries to share bases, fuel and food and was a good recognition of where the bilateral ties stood today.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury had earlier demanded the contents of the military logistics pact between India and the US be made public.
Verma, who had been in office in India for the last two years, said the defence ties with India "stand on its own."
"Defence relations with India stand on its own and is not a buyer-seller relation," the Ambassador said.
He said both countries had important defence deals in the past as well.
"We have a special cell in the Pentagon that looks only after these matters and the US does not have this kind of arrangement with any other country," he said.
"US and India are the world's largest two democracies with 1.6 billion people. If the two countries are close friends, then the world will be a safer and a prosperous place. There is a ripple effect," Verma said.
To a query on the US' position on Pakistan as an "exporter of terrorism", Verma said there has been condemnation of cross-border terrorism from their side.
"The US has been speaking about condemnation of cross-border terrorism which has to end. We want to see that kind of unity in our relations with India. With Pakistan, it is complex, based on cross-border terrorism. With India it is on a different plane," he said.
Asked about the future of Indo-US relations under the new dispensation, he said, "In the coming years, US and India relations will continue as it is today."
"Relations between India and US is on an upward trajectory and irreversible. Indians settled in the US will continue be the natural bridge between the two countries," Verma said.
"We believe it is the strategic interest of the US to see a stronger India. We strongly believe in that," he said.
On the economic front, he said US was the largest trading partner of India with two-way trade hovering at USD 100 billion.
There were 500 US companies in India and 100 Indian companies in the US, he said.
Verma was in the city to attend a seminar on regional connectivity where participants from Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Thailand were present, besides USA and India.
He also said US was ready to share its best practices on dealing with border security to help countries in protecting their citizens.