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The third meeting of the U.S.-India Defense Policy Group (DPG) was held in New Delhi on December 3-4, 2001. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Yogendra Narain, Defense Secretary to the Government of India, and Mr. Douglas Feith, Under Secretary for Policy in the U.S. Department of Defense. During his visit to New Delhi, Mr. Feith called on Defense Minister George Fernandes, Minister of External Affairs Jaswant Singh, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, and the Chief of Army Staff.
During their meeting on 9 November 2001 in Washington, D.C., Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Bush reiterated their commitment to transform India-U.S. relations. The common democratic traditions of our countries remain the bedrock of their relationship and the foundation for long-term strategic cooperation. Collaboration within the community of democratic states constitutes the best strategy for preserving the security, the liberty, and the prosperity of open, pluralistic, and multi-ethnic societies. India and the United States agree that they share strategic interests in Asia and beyond and that their defense and security cooperation can promote freedom, global peace, economic progress, and security. 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. They discussed the contribution that missile defenses could make to enhance strategic stability and to discourage the proliferation of ballistic missiles with weapons of mass destruction.
The two delegations exchanged views on the global campaign against international terrorism. They emphasized that the military operation against the Taliban and the Al-Qaida network in Afghanistan is an important step in the global war against terrorism and its sponsors everywhere in the world. They expressed satisfaction at the cooperation between the two countries in the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan. Noting that both India and the United States have been the targets of terrorism, the two sides agreed to add a new emphasis in their defense cooperation on counter terrorism initiatives, including expanding mutual support in this area. The two sides also recognized the importance of joint counter-proliferation efforts to achieve the goals of their defense cooperation.
The delegations reviewed the ongoing defense cooperation between India and the United States. They committed themselves to increasing substantially the pace of the high-level policy dialogue, military-to-military exchanges and other joint activities. As par of this effort, the DPG's next meeting will convene on an accelerated schedule in May 2002, preceded by a meeting of the Military Cooperation Group.
India and the United States have agreed that the Executive Steering Group of the three Services of the two countries would meet before the end of February 2002, to plan and review military-to-military cooperation and oversee implementation of the visits, exercises, and training programs:
The two delegations underscored the importance of a stable, long-term defense supply relationship as part of the overall strategic cooperation between India and the United States. Since the waiver of sanctions, a number of applications for export licenses have been approved by the U.S. Departments of State and Defense and are in the process of notification to Congress. These include licenses such as that related to weapon locating radars. The U.S. also agreed to expeditious review of India's acquisition priorities, including engine and systems for Light Combat Aircraft, radars, multi-mission maritime aircraft, components for jet trainer and high performance jet engines. To assist this licensing and sales process in the future, the two sides have resolved to establish a separate Security Cooperation Group to manage the defense supply relationship between India and the United States. This Group will meet in February-March 2002.
The delegations also agreed:
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