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India, UK to coordinate on security issues

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

As part of tackling the menace of terrorism, India and the UK Thursday agreed to continue to consult and coordinate policies across a range of global security challenges, especially those intended to eliminate the scourge of international terrorism, in pursuit of their shared goal of a more secure world.

In a joint statement issued by UK Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon who was here on a four-day visit to India from 11 April and his Indian counterpart Arun Jaitley set out a shared vision for the India-UK Defence Partnership.

The visit reaffirmed and consolidated UK-India defence cooperation in the framework of the Defence and International Security Partnership, agreed in November 2015.

The defence partnership will encompass not only cooperation in the defence industry but also stronger military-to-military engagement, including training and advanced joint exercises.

The renewed engagement will place capability and technology development at its core and seek to harness the complementary strengths of both nations in defence manufacturing and use the combined strengths of their respective private and public sectors to develop defence solutions for use in both home and shared export markets.

The ministers agreed to further strengthen their naval and maritime interactions, including enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through the bilateral technical agreement to exchange information to track terrorist and pirate vessels, a key deliverable of the Defence and International Security Partnership (DISP). The two ministers also agreed to further develop cooperation between the UK Hydrographic Office and the Indian Navy Hydrographic Office.

They tasked the relevant Executive Steering Groups (ESGs) to finalise proposals for consideration at the next Defence Consultative Group (DCG) meeting scheduled later this year.

The two ministers welcomed measures to ensure life cycle support and sustenance of UK-origin defence platforms used by India, which may include setting up joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.

They noted recent progress made on Defence Science and Technology collaboration with the signing of the Phase 2 follow-on research Collaborative Project Agreement on Human Sciences, signed at Aero India 2017.