‘US-Indo defence ties not based on arms sales’

America`s defence ties with India are dependent on common interests and objectives, a top Pentagon official said.

Washington: America`s strong and deepening
defence ties with India are not dependent on any arms sales,
but on common interests and objectives between the two largest
democracies of the world, a top Pentagon official said on Saturday.

"Defence trade is certainly a part of the bilateral
relationship but the cement and the core of that relationship
is not on any arms sales," Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defence for South and Southeast Asia Robert Scher said.

"It is on the common interest, common objectives,
people to people ties between our two countries," he said.

"We share common interest in terms of maritime security
in the Indian Ocean; we have the same short of appreciation of
the importance of the global commons and we share interesting
safety and security in the region," Scher said responding to
questions at Pentagon round table with select Washington-based
journalists from the Asia Pacific region.

"This is the foundation of the growing relationship
that I think, has the potential and the currently we are
seeing how we are both working together to really improve the
stability of the region at large," said the top Pentagon

India is going to be a clear area of investment for
the United States, Scher said.

"For India the strategy points out that the United
States is investing in a long term strategic partnership with
India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic
anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian ocean
region," he said.

The top Pentagon official said the US India relationship
is a top priority for the government and for the
Department of Defence.

"We have a strong a growing bilateral partnership. We
think that we can work together with India on a range of
issues because we share common interests and that is
foundation of the work that we do together and how we look at
the world together," he said.