New York: The defence relationship between India and the US has emerged as that of a "strategic handshake", Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said today on the eve of his second visit to India.
"Over the course of my years at the Defence Department, I have seen a remarkable convergence of US and Indian interests ? what I call a strategic handshake," Carter said in his major policy speech on Asia Pacific on the eve of his nearly two-week overseas trip that will take him to India, the Philippines and the Middle East.
Travelling to India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar, Carter would be visiting the Defence Minister's home state of Goa, and New Delhi where he would be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Aptly reflecting the defence relationship between the two countries, Carter for the first time used the term "strategic handshake" from a public forum to describe defence ties between the two largest democracies in the world.
"As the United States is reaching west in its rebalance, India is reaching east, in Prime Minister Modi's 'Act East' policy that will bring it farther into the Indian and Pacific Oceans," Carter said in his remarks before the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR), a top American think-tank.
Carter said this handshake is reflected in the Joint Strategic Vision Statement that President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Modi released last January, and the 2015 Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship, which he signed with Parrikar last year in New Delhi.
The Defence Framework is foundational and will guide the US-India defence relationship for the next 10 years.
"There is another handshake between our countries as well ? a technological one. In 2012, the United States and India created the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, or DTTI, to leverage the convergence between our industrial and technological abilities in an unprecedented way," Carter said.
DTTI grasps hands with Modi's 'Make in India' campaign to expand the nation's industrial and defence base and will lead to greater co-production and co-development of defence capabilities.