New Delhi: The US on Wednesday promised to initiate measures to provide access to dual use technology to India which has been contending that American norms were leading to denial of export of such sophisticated items.
This assurance was given by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta to Defence Minister AK Antony during hour-long discussions in which they reviewed the security situation in South Asia and the Af-Pak region. Panetta gave an assurance to Antony that the US would initiate measures to provide access to technology, defence ministry officials said.
The denial of dual-use items by the US to various laboratories under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was a key issue for discussion between the two sides.
DRDO chief V K Saraswat had recently said that US President Barack Obama’s assurance on removal of DRDO from the entities list and easing exports of dual use items had remained on paper.
In the backdrop of China asserting its naval presence in the South China Sea, Antony told Panetta that India favoured unhindered freedom of navigation in international waters for all.
His remarks come in the wake US announcement of moving six aircraft carriers in the Asia Pacific region. Antony also told Panetta that in case of bilateral issues between countries, it was desirable that parties concerned should settle their contentious matters in accordance with international law.
Sources said that Panetta did not bring up the contentious Logistics Support Agreement, Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) or the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) during his discussions with Antony.