The key logistics defence pact signed between India and the US earlier this week, will make joint military operations between the two countries more efficient, the Pentagon has said.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook also asserted that strong defence ties between the two countries would help enhance regional security.
“We think it will make the conduct of our operations with the Indian military that much more efficient and effective. And again, it’s very consistent with agreements we have with other countries,” Cook told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and US defence secretary Ashton Carter had signed the ‘Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement’ (LEMOA) and said it will facilitate opportunities for “practical engagement and exchange”.
Asked about the adverse reaction to the agreement from India’s neighbourhood, Cook said no country needs to worry about the pact.
“I would speak to the positive nature about this agreement, which is to enhance the security relationship between our two countries, and security in the region. This agreement and our relationship with India should not be cause for concern for others,” he said.
“We see this as an opportunity to strengthen out ties with India, our defence ties. And that those enhanced relations represent a security enhancement for the region as a whole,” he asserted.
Department of defence spokesperson, Commander (US Navy) Gary Ross told PTI that the LEMOA agreement facilitates mutual logistical support between the US and Indian Armed Forces by permitting the exchange of authorised supplies and services on short notice without requiring advance payment.
The agreement becomes especially important given the increasing number of military-to-military exercises that the countries two countries conduct, he said.