US for greater inter-operability of forces with India
Kolkata: Pitching for greater inter-operability of forces with India as major defence partners in the Indo-Pacific region, US Ambassador Kenneth I Juster on Wednesday said his country had always had zero tolerance towards cross- border terrorism.
"We seek to assist in India's efforts to build up its indigenous defence capabilities and also to enhance the inter-operability of the two countries' forces as major defence
partners in the Into-Pacific region," he said at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) here.
The export of cross-border terrorism by Pakistan was a concern for the US also, Juster said, adding: "We have zero tolerance towards cross-border terrorism and it depends on the two countries (India and Pakistan) to resolve the issue in a peaceful manner."
The US ambassador welcomed India's leadership in the Indo-Pacific region and said his country was committed to maintaining stability and the economic rise of the nations in region. Stressing the importance of the economic relationship between India and the US, Juster said there was ample scope for increasing the bilateral trade. The bilateral trade between the two countries increased from $20 billion to $115 billion in 2016, he said, adding that the flow of goods and services both ways could help bring in a balance.
Juster also exhorted India to seize the strategic opportunity to become a major hub for American businesses in the Indo-Pacific region. He sought an increased purchase by India of US military equipment, including some of the advanced ones. The US, Juster said, was also eyeing India's growing digital economy, healthcare services, environmental technology, energy, travel, tourism and education.
To a question, he said India was a multi-ethnic and pluralistic society and this posed certain challenges.