US-India NSAs meet tomorrow to deepen military-tech ties

June 16, 2024 8:12 am

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval hosts his US counterpart Jake Sullivan for the second round of iCET dialogue.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval hosts his US counterpart Jake Sullivan for the second round of iCET dialogue.

New Delhi: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office for the third time, India-US bilateral engagement will begin here on Monday with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan meeting NSA Ajit Doval for the much awaited second meeting of initiative of Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) on June 17-18.

According to top government officials, the main meeting of iCET will be held tomorrow with the focus being a review of all the projects considered at the Washington meeting on January 31, 2023 including transfer of technology of GE-414 jet engines for Tejas Mark II fighters.

While western and Chinese media are trying to nix the India-US bilateral relationship by deliberately raking up the alleged life attempt on US based proscribed Khalistani terrorist G S Pannun, the G-7 interaction between PM Modi and US President Joe Biden has made it clear that the ties are as deep as before. Fact is that before PM Modi landed in Apulia for the G-7 outreach on June 13, the western media was questioning NSA Sullivan on whether President Biden was avoiding PM Modi due to the Pannun issue as if the entire bilateral relationship was hanging on the proscribed terrorist of SFJ.

According to G-7 interlocutors, both PM Modi and President Biden are clearly interested in taking the relationship forward amidst the threat of an expansionist China in the Indo-Pacific.

Fact is that a US team is already in India to negotiate the sale of 31 MQ 9B armed Predator drones to India, just as a French team is in India to negotiate the 26 Rafale-Maritime fighter deal for INS Vikrant. NSA Ajit Doval is slated to be in Paris on June 20-21 for a meeting with his counterpart Emmanuel Bonne and military counterpart to deepen military ties.

During the iCET meeting tomorrow, NSAs Doval and Sullivan will discuss the draft of a new bilateral Defence Industrial Cooperation Roadmap to accelerate technological cooperation between the two countries for the joint development and production of jet engines, loitering ammunition and other systems.

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