New Delhi, Mar. 3 (ANI): US Pacific Fleet Commander, Admiral Harry Harris on Tuesday said enhancement of naval teamwork will be the foundation of defence cooperation between the U.S. and India.
"As I meet this week with officials here in India, I am enthusiastic about a shared future based on this strategic view. Defence cooperation is one of the pillars of the India-U.S. partnership and greatly benefits the security and prosperity of both countries. Enhancement of naval teamwork between our two great maritime nations will be the foundation of that cooperation," the Admiral said.
"While some say the vastness of the Indian and Pacific oceans is what separates us, I believe these waters are what bring us together. Both oceans provide a literal and metaphoric sea lane to enhanced bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Navigating this expanse to unlock the full potential of the India-U.S. partnership is a key component of America's rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific," he added.
Harris said the two countries face common threats and count on open sea lanes for their collective prosperity which underscores the benefit of a strong navy-to-navy relationship.
"Our navies enjoy a shared heritage and common focus: a safe and secure maritime domain is critical to our economies. That we face common threats and count on open sea lanes for our collective prosperity underscores the benefit of a strong navy-to-navy relationship. An enhanced India-U.S. partnership helps us ensure that other nations respect international law and drives our mutual commitment to open access by all nations to the shared global commons of sea, air, space and cyberspace," he said.
The Admiral said he agreed with Indian Navy Chief, Admiral R.K. Dhowan's statement that the relationship between the two navies is deep, multi-faceted, and includes interactions both at the institutional and individual levels.
"Likewise, there is a role for each of our navies to play in building multinational maritime relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. The Indian Navy has helped lead maritime forums such as the International Seapower Symposium, the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, and the Western Pacific Naval Symposium to name a few. Sharing thoughts and ideas helps every nation, both large and small, rise to meet mutual challenges such as piracy, freedom of navigation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. As we learned 10 years ago during the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, it is critical that regional navies operate together in times of peace so that we can effectively and rapidly respond in times of crisis," he said.
The Admiral pointed out that the maritime relationship between the two countries has never been more important.
"It is clear to me that our maritime relationship has never been more important and I believe we can be even closer partners in the future. It is critical that we continue building on the current momentum to enhance prosperity and security for both our nations. A stable, prosperous and peaceful Indo-Asia-Pacific is our common goal and we welcome the crucial role India has to play in this effort," he said. (ANI)