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India downplays US Senate rejecting bill on recognising it as ‘global strategic and defence partner’

The US had recognised India as a "major defence partner" in a joint statement issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit there last week.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: June 16, 2016 9:42 pm
Narendra modi, defence agreement, india-us defence agreement, india-us, modi news, defence news PM Modi at the end of his US tour.

India on June 16 downplayed the US Senate rejecting a key amendment recognising the country as “global strategic and defence partner”, saying it would be “premature” to speculate about its final content.

The US had recognised India as a “major defence partner” in a joint statement issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit there last week.

“We have seen media reports about non-inclusion of an India-related amendment in the consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the US Senate.

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“The preparation of NDAA in the US Congress involves approval of different versions in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and their reconciliation to evolve a single consensual text, which is again put to vote in both chambers.

“The 2017 NDAA is in the process of its formulation and it would be premature to speculate about its final content,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

In a related development, the US Senate has moved to block USD 300 million military aid to Pakistan unless the Defence Secretary certifies that Islamabad is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani Network.

Swarup also noted that preparation of NDAA is a process distinct from the decision of the US government to recognise India as a major defence partner.

“This was an executive decision and already announced in the India-US Joint Statement of June 7. A number of Senators and Congressmen have moved proposals that only seek to reinforce this decision of the US government.

“It reflects the bipartisan support in the US Congress for stronger defence cooperation between India and the US,” he added.

The US Senate failed to recognise India as a “global strategic and defence partner” of the US after a key amendment necessary to modify its export control regulations could not be passed.

Top Republican Senator John McCain had moved an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA-17) which if passed would have recognised India as a global strategic and defence partner.

The US had recognised India as a “major defence partner” in a joint statement issued after Modi held talks with President Barack Obama which supported defence-related trade and technology transfer to the country which would now be treated on par with America’s closest allies.

NDAA was passed by the Senate with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 85-13. But some of the key amendments including the (SA 4618) – even though they had bipartisan support.

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  1. A
    Am A
    Jun 16, 2016 at 7:17 pm
    Now almost half of the Senate and House in US is filled with Democrats. They are mostly the liberal kinds, protective of minorities and human and individual rights. These are the aspects which is directly opposite of Modi and the party he represents, BJP. So it will be very likely that they don't support Modi or his discourses there.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;So it won't be surprising that most of them may not have been present during Modi's speech. The most likely support Modi could have gotten is from the Republicans, NRI communities and the lobbyist who see Modi as an opening for the businesses they represent.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;And this could probably be why the bill wasn't even sanctioned, in spite of all the PR tactics of Modi's visit to show that the visit was a g success.