Hagel to visit India next month: Pentagon

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In his first opportunity to engage directly with the new leadership, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel will visit India next month to discuss bilateral defence and security ties with Indian officials.

"Only two months into Prime Minister Modi's tenure, already it looks like we will have a very busy year," Deputy Assistant Secretary Of Defence For South And Southeast Asia, Amy Searight said yesterday.

"Secretary Hagel will be travelling to India in early August to discuss bilateral defence ties with Indian officials," she said, adding that he would be accompanied by top Pentagon officials.

The trip will follow the State Department's Strategic Dialogue, scheduled for July 31 in New Delhi.

Describing India as a regional and emerging global power as well as strategic partner with shared interests, Amy said, "Defence relations continue to play a significant role in advancing the strategic partnership, and we continue to make progress towards advancing US-India defence cooperation".

One of the pillars of US effort to build a strategic partnership with India on defence issues is the US-India defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI), she said, adding that under the auspices of DTTI, the US was ready to move forward on a number of efforts, from co-production / co- development proposals to procurement and sales.

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