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India now among US "most crucial strategic partners"

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BENGALURU (PTI): US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said the strategic relationship of the US with India is "one of our most important" and events like 'Aero India' "allow us to demonstrate our commitment to" the partnership.

Inaugurating the US Pavilion at the 'Aero India' show here on Wednesday, Verma termed the exhibit as "the best of US aviation and defence technology".

"Air shows like 'Aero India' allow us to demonstrate our commitment to the strategic relationship with key international partners," he said, adding that "and in 2015, the strategic relationship the United States has with India is one of our most important."

As many as 64 US companies including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Honeywell, Esterline, Bell, GE Aviation, and Sikorsky are participating in the air show which began on Wednesday.

The US with 64 companies will have the biggest presence at the event, said to be the largest air show to be hosted in India so far, in which 33 other countries are also taking part.

Seven of the 11 foreign military aircraft on display will be American - two F-15C Eagles, two F-16C Fighting Falcons, one Boeing KC-135 tanker, one C-17 Globemaster III and a P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft.

US participation in 'Aero India' provides both US and Indian industry and services the opportunity to strengthen military-to-military relations and invigorate our defence cooperation, a statement by the US Embassy said.

Continued security cooperation between the US and India will help safeguard against global instability, protect freedom of navigation in the air and sea, combat terrorism and violent extremism, and ensure the peaceful resolution of disputes, he said.

Besides Verma, senior officials from the US Department of Defense, Department of State, and Department of Commerce were part of the US delegation.

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