Clinton pitches for India to buy defense equipments from US

As India goes ahead with its plan to modernise the armed forces, US has pitched for India to buy defense equipments from American companies.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 09:56 AM IST

Washington: As India goes ahead with its
plan to modernise the armed forces, US has pitched for India
to buy defense equipments from American companies.

"We think we have the finest military hardware in the
world, and if India is upgrading its defense capabilities,
they should buy American," State Department spokesman, P J
Crowley told reporters in response to a question on the
meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence
Minister A K Antony at the Foggy Bottom headquarters.

"I believe our understanding is that some of those
decisions are coming up fairly soon. But this is an Indian
process, but we`re pleased that US companies are competing,"
said Crowley, according to whom the two leaders discussed a
wide range of issues including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The current situation in Kashmir did not come up during
the talks as US, despite repeated pressure from Pakistan,
considers Kashmir a domestic issue for India.

"They agreed that India and US have a mutual interest in
a stable Afghanistan, and the Secretary welcomed India`s
contribution in terms of diplomacy and development in building
its own relationship with Afghanistan," he said, adding that
they also talked about a mutual interest in expanding defense
partnership between the two countries.

Procurement of military hardware by Indian forces and the
US having the best technology figured in the Pentagon talks
between Antony and Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

"We in the US and our companies are very happy to be a
supplier for India`s modernisation activities," a senior
Defense official said.

Pentagon believes that US provides the best technology,
the best solutions for a range of issues.

There are a range of defense trade issues where US
companies provide by far the best technology, US officials
believe.

US is encouraged that India is looking to broaden its
suppliers base beyond what it had previously, officials said.

"I am glad that they are looking at the US solutions and
I do believe that US solutions provide some of the best
opportunities for a proficient and capable Indian force," the
official said.

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon
arrived in Washington to hold discussions related to the visit
of the US President Barack Obama to India in November.

During his stay over the next few days, he is scheduled
to meet his American counterpart Gen (rtd) James Jones,
Clinton, Gates and a number of influential Congressmen.

Menon would also interact with the opinion builders and
academicians at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
for a discussion in advance of Obama`s visit to India.

PTI