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Press release on the visit of the Defence Minister of India, Mr. A.K. Antony to the United States

Washington, DC

At the invitation of the US Secretary of Defense Mr Robert Gates, the Defence Minister of India Mr. A.K. Antony paid an official visit to Washington DC from September 26-28, 2010.

The visit was part of the intensive ongoing bilateral engagement at high political levels, with a particular focus on defence cooperation. During the visit, Mr. Antony held detailed discussions with his US counterpart Mr. Gates and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation, including the progressively increasing trade in military-technical equipment, service to service exchanges, joint military exercises and collaboration in defence technologies. He expressed satisfaction at the increasing range and depth of defence cooperation and conveyed India’s commitment to add even greater substance to the defence partnership in the years ahead. The two principals also exchanged views on the situation in India’s neighbourhood and noted that the expanding bilateral defence cooperation was in mutual interest.

Mr Antony also had separate meetings with the US Secretary of State, Ms. Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor General James Jones.

Upon conclusion of the visit, Mr. Antony expressed the view that such high level interactions had successfully served to develop deeper mutual understanding on defence and security issues of shared interest and played an important role in the process of unlocking the full potential of defence cooperation in the overall context of the strategic partnership between India and the United States.