Wednesday, July 27, 2005
A document entitled ‘New Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship’ was signed on June 28, 2005 during Defence Minister’s official visit to the US from June 27-30, 2005. The ‘Framework’ updates the ‘Agreed Minutes on Defence Relations between India and the United States’ signed in January 1995 and seeks to advance common security interests such as maintaining security and stability; defeating terrorism and violent religious extremism; preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related materials, data and technologies; and protecting the free flow of commerce. It includes provisions for cooperation to enhance the capabilities of the US and Indian armed forces to deal with terrorism, disasters and the spread of WMD; expand the defence trade, production and technology relationship with the US; and promote regional and global peace and stability, jointly or with others, through expanded interaction with other nations, exchange of perspectives of international security issues, increased intelligence exchanges, capacity building of other countries for peace-keeping operations and collaboration in multinational operations when it is the common interest.
The Framework is expected to enlarge available sources and options for the acquisition of defence equipment, provide access to advanced US defence technologies, help strengthen and modernize the Indian Armed Forces and increase our leverage and strategic maneuverability in international affairs.
No participation by Indian Armed Forces in any military action initiation by U.S.A. against international terrorism is contemplated or implied in this arrangement. Participation in any operations will be guided by the national interest and principles of our foreign and defence policies, including our independent stand on international issues.
The ‘Framework’ includes provisions for co-production of defence equipment and collaboration in multi-national operations “when it is in their common interest”. It also provides for increased opportunities for a two-way defence trade and transactions, including technology transfer, collaboration, co-production, and research and development, and the setting up of a ‘Defence Procurement and Production Group’ under the US-India Defence Policy Group (DPG) to advance these objectives. Together with progress on the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership (NSSP), the ‘Framework’ is expected to open the way for the supply of advanced technologies, including defence technologies, to India.
The ‘Framework’ is expected to add the United States to our existing sources of defence equipment suppliers and increase India’s options and bargaining power in the acquisition of defence technology and equipment.
This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee in separate written replies to Shri Shahid Siddiqui and Shri A Vijayaraghavan in Rajya Sabha today.