National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of Defence Kathleen Hicks and discussed priorities for the US-India bilateral defence partnership.
The discussions between Doval and Hicks included strengthening policy and operational coordination in the Indo-Pacific region and increasing defence industrial cooperation between the two nations, the US Department of Defence said in a press release. During the meeting, Hicks reiterated that building alliances and partnerships is a top priority for the department and integral to the ongoing implementation of the US National Defence Strategy.
"Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr Kathleen Hicks met with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Washington, D.C., today to discuss priorities for the US-India bilateral defence partnership, to include strengthening policy and operational coordination in the Indo-Pacific region and increasing defence industrial cooperation between the two countries," the US Department of Defence said in the press release.
Kathleen Hicks tweeted, "I met today with #India Nat'l Security Advisor #AjitDoval to discuss priorities for the US-India defense partnership, thank India for leadership in the Indo-Pacific region & discuss ways to deepen defense industrial cooperation."
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in US in a tweet stated, "Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks @DepSecDef called on NSA Ajit Doval. They discussed a range of topics including U.S.- India defence cooperation and regional security issues."
During the meeting, Hicks thanked NSA Doval for India's leadership in the Indo-Pacific and discussed avenues to deepen coordination between the militaries of India and the US to address the region's increasingly contested strategic environment.
"The deputy secretary thanked NSA Doval for India's leadership in the region and discussed avenues to deepen coordination between the U.S. and Indian militaries to address the region's increasingly contested strategic environment," the US Department of Defence said in the press release.
Both sides discussed opportunities to increase bilateral defence industrial cooperation through innovative joint endeavours between US and Indian firms that support India's unique operational requirements. Hicks and Doval stated that they looked forward to making progress toward advancing the US-India defence partnership.
Doval is on an official visit to Washington from January 30-February 1. Senior government officials and leaders of Indian industry have accompanied Doval during his visit to the US, the Ministry of External Affairs said in the press release.
NSA Doval and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) at the White House on January 31.
The announcement regarding the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden during their meeting in Tokyo in May 2022, according to the press release.
iCET aims to position the two countries as trusted technology partners by building technology value chains and supporting the co-development and co-production of items. It also aims to address regulatory restrictions, export controls and mobility barriers through a standing mechanism.
The US side has assured support to ease export barriers to India in a few critical areas, including through efforts towards legislative changes. At the launch, emphasis was placed on strengthening linkages between the startup ecosystems and building innovation bridges in key sectors between the two countries, through expos, hackathons and pitching sessions, as per the press release.
The two sides established a quantum coordination mechanism with participation from industry and academia, the Ministry of External Affairs said in the press release. In the field of semiconductors, the US supported the development of a fabrication ecosystem in India and encouraged joint ventures and partnerships for mature technology nodes and advanced packaging.
On January 31, India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu also hosted a reception for NSA at India House. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Jake Sullivan, Acting Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, several high officials from the US Administration, and CEOs of advanced technology companies and funds, heads of leading US universities participated in the reception. (ANI)