During NSA Doval’s visit, India & US agree to strengthen defence and space collaboration

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Following talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top US government functionaries, India and the US have decided to step up collaboration in the critical areas of space, defence, and telecommunications.

NSA Doval is on a visit to the US from January 30-February 1. He is accompanied by senior Government of India officials as well as leaders of Indian industry.

During the visit, NSA Doval interacted with US policymakers and stakeholders across Government, Congress, business, academic and research communities on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

Apart from his meeting with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, he also met Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Acting Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, key Senators and industry leaders. He is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Antony Blinken later during the visit.

On Tuesday, along with NSA Sullivan, NSA Doval co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) at the White House. This translated into action, the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joseph Biden during their meeting in Tokyo in May 2022.

According to information released by the MEA, in the field of defence manufacturing, the two sides agreed to focus on joint production of key items of mutual interest. The US committed to expeditious review of the license application submitted by M/s General Electric to produce jet engines in India for the indigenously manufactured Light Combat Aircraft, the MEA said.

Another decision was on creating a new Innovation Bridge to connect defence startups on both sides.

In the field of space, there was appreciation of the opportunities offered by the opening up of India’s space sector, and the contribution of India’s space tech companies in the US. It was agreed that ISRO would work with NASA on human space flight opportunities, NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) project, and STEM talent exchanges, the MEA said.

In next generation telecommunications, given India’s cost-competitiveness and scale, both sides agreed to launch a public-private dialogue covering 5G/6G and ORAN using trusted sources.

India’s Ambassador to US Taranjit Sandhu hosted a reception for NSA at India House at which US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, NSA Sullivan, Acting Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, several high officials from the US Administration, CEOs of advanced technology companies and funds, and heads of leading US universities were present.

“The discussions during this visit form the basis for intensifying India-US cooperation in cutting-edge sectors and are truly reflective of the maturity of the India-US comprehensive, global strategic partnership,” the MEA said.

Both countries agreed to maintain sustained attention to achieve outcome oriented deliverables within definitive timelines, the MEA added.

(India News Network)

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