Statement by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at the Joint Press Conference at the Pentagon
(10 December, 2015)
[Check against delivery]
1. I am delighted to be in the US. This is my first visit to your great country as Defence Minister. I am deeply grateful to Secretary Carter for his warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation and arranging an excellent programme for my visit.
2. Before coming to Washington, I visited the US Pacific Command in Hawaii and participated in the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Ceremony, besides having interaction with the officers of the Pacific Command. I also had the opportunity to interact with Senator John McCain and some of the other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. I also had interaction with industry representatives in an event organized by USIBC, in which CII and FICCI also participated.
3. India and US share a strategic partnership that reflects our shared values and interests. Defence and Security cooperation is a vital component of this partnership. Our relations have grown stronger under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Obama.
4. This is my third meeting with Secretary Carter. I had the privilege of hosting Secretary Carter in Delhi in June this year when we signed the Defence Cooperation Framework Agreement. This Agreement reflects our shared commitment towards maintenance of international peace and security and promotion of rule-based order. We again met recently in Kuala Lumpur on the margins of ADMM plus.
5. In our discussions today, Secretary Carter and I discussed a range of issues covering the entire spectrum of our defence partnership. We also exchanged views on global and regional security issues.
6. We noted the good progress made under the DTTI. This is an initiative to which both sides attach great importance. We deeply appreciate the personal commitment of Secretary Carter in shaping up this initiative. I have conveyed to Secretary Carter our desire to further collaborate in the higher-end transformative technologies within the framework of DTTI.
7. We also reviewed the cooperation between our Armed Forces which have grown stronger. Today, India is conducting more military exercises with the US than with any other country.
8. Our cooperation in the area of Maritime security is also becoming stronger especially in the Indian Ocean Region where India is playing its due role and responsibility of a net security provider. As you may be aware, during the visit of President Obama to India in January this year, our two countries agreed on a Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region.
9. The issue of terrorism was a key topic of discussion in my all engagements. Terrorism has become a global phenomenon and requires a comprehensive response. Terrorists of all shades and affiliations must be countered without any differentiation.
10. I apprised Secretary Carter of the key policy decision taken by the Government of India in the defence sector including the increase in FDI limit to 49%, liberal offsets policy and improving the ease of doing business. We feel that the recent policy initiatives have opened up immense opportunities for the US companies to set up their manufacturing enterprises in India in collaboration with Indian companies. This was our message to industry representatives as well.
11. I look forward to working together with Secretary Carter to further expand and deepen our defence relationship.