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Senior US officials to participate in Aero India show

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WASHINGTON (PTI): Top American diplomats including US Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma will participate in the Aero India show beginning today in Bengaluru, as part of their efforts to promote bilateral defence ties.

"Building on President (Barack) Obama's successful visit to India last month, top US officials will promote US-India defense cooperation, advocate for US companies bidding on foreign commercial and defense contracts, and provide an update on Export Control Reform at the Aero India 2015 air show and aviation exhibition in Bangalore," the State Department said on Tuesday.

US officials are expected to provide an update on Export Control Reform.

In addition to Verma, other members of the delegation include Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political- Military Affairs Ken Handelman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Marcus Jadotte and Vice Admiral Joseph W Rixey, Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Senior military leadership from the US Pacific Command will also attend the show.

In recent years, the United States and India have significantly broadened defence cooperation, as demonstrated by increased bilateral dialogues, military exercises, and military personnel exchanges, as well as the US-India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative, the State Department said.

"Since 2008, our bilateral defence trade has grown from near-zero to nearly USD 10 billion. Every day, our diplomats work to promote US companies wherever they operate driving exports, creating jobs here at home, and accelerating US economic growth," the State Department said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will open the Aero India 2015 air show and exhibition this morning at the Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bengaluru.

Defence Ministers or officials of equivalent ranks of six countries - the USA, Russia, Israel and Germany among them - will participate.

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