World America 08 Sep 2017 US backs sale of F-1 ...

US backs sale of F-16 jets to India

PTI
Published Sep 8, 2017, 5:04 am IST
Updated Sep 8, 2017, 7:39 am IST
It will take India-US ties to next level.
These proposals have the potential to take India US defence relationship to the next level, the official said (Photo: Representational Image/AFP)
 These proposals have the potential to take India US defence relationship to the next level, the official said (Photo: Representational Image/AFP)

The Trump administration has told Congress that it “strongly supports” the sale of F-18 and F-16 fighter jets to India and asserted that the proposals have the potential to take Indo-US defence ties to the next level.

Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary of state for the South and Central Asian Affairs, told a Congressional Subcommittee in a written submission that defence cooperation with India would be an important pillar in the bilateral relationship as it needs the country to be a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

In this context, the Trump administration has informed the Congress that it “strongly supports” the sale of F-18 and F-16 fighter proposals put forward by Boeing and Lockheed Martin respectively.

These proposals have the potential to take India US defence relationship to the next level, the official said.

“The reason why defence cooperation with India is so vital to US interests is because we need India to be a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific,” Wells said 

She highlighted that the region serves as the fulcrum of global trade and commerce, with nearly half of the world’s 90,000 commercial vessels, many sailing under the US flag, and two-thirds of traded oil travelling through the region. Wells is also scheduled to testify before the House foreign affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on “Maintaining US Influence in South Asia: The FY 2018 Budget”. Wells said India is among America's most important strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific region. 

 

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