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India, US agree to strengthen defence cooperation


US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after addressing a joint press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday. A PTI photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): India and the United States on Monday underscored the critical importance of stability of and access to air, sea, space and cyberspace domains and launched a dialogue to explore ways to work together in these areas.

In a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama, both the countries reaffirmed the importance of maritime security, unimpeded commerce and freedom of navigation.

“In an increasingly inter-dependent world, the stability of, and access to, the air, sea, space, and cyberspace domains is vital for the security and economic prosperity of nations,” the statement said.

Acknowledging their “commitment to openness and responsible” international conduct, it said, India and the US have launched a dialogue to explore ways to work together, as well as with other countries, to develop a shared vision for these critical domains to promote peace, security and development.

Noting that the India-US defence cooperation in recent years has strengthened mutual understanding on regional peace and stability, the statement said it enhanced both countries’ capacities to meet humanitarian and challenges such as terrorism and piracy, and contributed to the development of the strategic partnership between both the countries.

The two leaders also resolved to further strengthen defence cooperation, including through security dialogue, exercises, and promoting trade and collaboration in defence equipment and technology.

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