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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 10:17 GMT
India and US boost military ties
A US SH-60 Seahawk helicopter over the Indian Ocean
The new agreement includes joint military exercises
The United States and India have agreed on a new blueprint for defence co-operation.

Washington is to resume the sale of defence equipment to Delhi which had been banned under sanctions imposed after India conducted nuclear tests in 1998.

The new agreement will include joint military training programmes, exercises and regular high-level talks between military officials of the two countries.

It follows two days of discussions between the US Under Secretary of Defence, Douglas Feith, and the Indian Defence Secretary, Yogendra Narain, in Delhi.

Analysts say the announcement is a clear departure from previous bilateral defence ties which were stunted by Washington's imposition of military sanctions.

Joint statement

"A strengthened bilateral relationship will assist both countries to counter threats such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, narcotics trafficking and piracy", a joint statement issued in Delhi said.

An Indian Navy helicopter lowers a marine commando onto the deck of Vijayvir ship
Naval personnel will be exchanged
The co-operation plans include combined special operations training, ground and air exercises, naval personnel exchange and training exercises between the US Marines and their Indian counterparts.

Washington has also approved several Indian applications for acquiring defence equipment like weapon locating radars, engines and systems for a fighter jet programme, multi-mission maritime aircraft and components for jet trainers.

Ties between the two countries have strengthened in recent years and India was one of the first countries to support the US-led war on terrorism.

See also:

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Q & A: Kashmir dispute
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Did Musharraf gain by Powell visit?
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