A report released by the Pentagon states that the US and India are currently in talks for the possibility of missile defence cooperation in the future, as part of an attempt to strengthen their bilateral strategic partnership, reports The Economic Times.
India is seen as a ‘key element’ in the American Indo-Pacific strategy, as per the 81-page ‘Missile Defense Review’ report. The release of the report at this point in time is noteworthy considering the recent $5 billion purchase agreement between India and Russia for the latter to supply the S-400 air defence system; US officials have been vocal about their displeasure with their deal.
The Pentagon asserts in its analysis that the threat of offensive missile capabilities is not restricted to a few parts of the world; several countries in South Asia are working on creating advanced ballistic and cruise missile systems.
"Within this context, the United States has discussed potential missile defence cooperation with India. This is a natural outgrowth of India's status as a Major Defence Partner and key element of our Indo-Pacific Strategy," reads the report.
Although the report does not mention any specific details of the upcoming cooperation, previous US administrations such as under former president Barack Obama were reluctant to extend missile defence cooperation with India. However, the current administration under President Donald Trump has shown a greater willingness to forge closer defence ties between the two countries.
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