Pallone for closer US-India defense ties : Aug 19, 2003

Pallone for closer US-India defense ties : Aug 19, 2003

Pallone for closer US-India defense ties : Aug 19, 2003

India and the United States need to build a strong defence relationship on the lines of NATO, a leading US Congressman Frank Pallone has said. Pallone, who was here for a
fundraising event hosted by local activist and Kashmiri leader, Jeevan Zutshi, said, “I believe it is very difficult to develop a true close relationship with another country, unless
there is a defence relationship.”

“I honestly believe that we are going to see the day when there is going to be a formal defence treaty arrangement, maybe something like NATO. It could be a South Asian alliance, with India leading other countries of the region into some kind of formal military alliance with the United States,” Pallone, co-founder of India Caucus, said.

This, the Congressman said, did not mean that India had to give up its sovereignty or give up its position as a country that has always been in the forefront of the Non- Aligned

“I am very supportive of the fact that India has over the last couple of months said to President George W Bush that we are not going to send our forces to Iraq, unless you put
this under the United Nations. “India has to continue its role as a leader of Non-Aligned Movement and also as a very important country within the UN and that doesn’t preclude a close defence relationship with the United States. In terms of defence cooperation, India and the US had made significant strides in the recent years, Pallone said referring to the
joint military exercises, weapons transfer and the setting up of the two working groups – anti-terrorism and the defense working group.

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