WASHINGTON, Aug 8: A US team will visit New Delhi next month to discuss the details of the possible sale of P-3 maritime patrol aircraft to India while the two countries will also hold a joint workshop on missile defence.
The workshop will be held in New Delhi in six months. The United States also agreed to review an Indian request for counter-terrorism equipment but it was not spelled out what equipment are the Indians seeking.
These and other decisions were taken at a two-day meeting of the US-India Defence Policy Group meeting, which concluded in Washington on Thursday.
New Delhi also had expected to persuade Washington to lift curbs on the transfer of dual-use and high-tech systems. But the joint statement makes no mention of this.
Voicing concern over the possibility of weapons of mass destruction falling in the hands of terrorists, the two sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism.
“Global terrorism, state sponsors of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are the key threats to international peace and security. US and India are drawn together in an effort to deal with these new circumstances,” said a joint statement issued after the talks.
The need to “work to secure peace in South Asia” was also mentioned in the joint statement although not as forcefully as the need to enhance the defence cooperation with India.
Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Prasad told a news conference in Washington on Thursday evening that he also raised the issue of “continued terrorist attacks” in Jammu and Kashmir, including those on the Vaishno Devi temple pilgrims in July and on an army engineering institution at Akhnur.
“We gave a lot of figures,” said Mr Prasad, emphasizing, “the ground situation has not changed in any material way. There has been some tactical adjustment by Pakistan but, in essence, the situation very much remains the same.”
But apparently, the Indian team failed to make the United States blame and condemn Pakistan for the attack.