New York: The US Congress will soon pass a legislation to formally recognise India as a major defence parter of the United States, American Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said.
This formal recognition would allow both sides to do things that have never been possible earlier, Carter said.
Besides other provisions, the National Defence Authorisation Bill, currently with the Congress, seeks to enhance defence and security cooperation with India.
The House of Representatives passed the bill on Monday and it is expected to clear the Senate soon.
"The significance of that is, first of all, it's unique to India. It permits us to do things with India that have never been possible before.
“And it creates a presumption of approval for transactions with India," IANS quoted Carter as saying.
"There are a lot of projects that are underway under DTTI (Defence Technology and Trade Initiative)," he said, adding, "We're working out the technical and sometimes economic details of them," he said.
Carter said he will discuss its impact in detail with the Indian officials during his second visit to New Delhi this week. He said the two democracies are "destined to be strategic partners in the future".
Carter is expected to arrive in India on Thursday.
"I'll be discussing with my Indian counterparts tomorrow ... the major change we're about to make in our export regulations as regards the status of India, a major defence partner," he told reporters travelling with him to India.