Washington: Notwithstanding some "barriers" and "challenges" in Indo-US defence ties, the two countries are on a positive trajectory to step-up military-to-military cooperation, a top American commander said on Thursday.
"Always challenges. Always challenges. I mean, we`re two large democracies and that are in different parts of the world that have a very valuable view from each perspective of how the world looks.
The fact that we have those different views makes it even more important for us to have good military relationships. So they are positive," Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander of the US Pacific Command told Pentagon reporters.
Locklear was recently in India as part of the US delegation led by Secretary of State John Kerry to attend the India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi, on the sidelines of which he met top Indian military and defence officials.
"We are on a good upward trajectory with our military-to-military relationships at the service levels, in particular with the Indian military. We continue to increase in both size and complexity the type of exercises that we do together," he said in response to a question.
"As you know, we also had an initiative to try determine how we can do more defence trade with each other, and how to remove barriers on both sides, bureaucratic barriers, that are keeping us from being able to do cooperative military procurement projects together," Locklear said referring to the talks between US Deputy Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on increasing defence trade between the two countries.
"Carter has been involved directly with their (India`s) national security adviser, Menon, to try to ensure that we can come up with a better understanding of how we can get past that. So I would say that we are in a positive trajectory with our mil-to-mil, on both sides," Locklear said.