Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on Thursday finalized the framework of designating India as a “major defense partner” of the U.S.

The announcement came in a statement released at the end of Carter’s visit to the country, this during his final international trip as Secretary of Defense.

“The designation as a ‘Major Defense Partner’ is a status unique to India and institutionalizes the progress made to facilitate defense trade and technology sharing with India to a level at par with that of the United States’ closest allies and partners, and ensures enduring cooperation into the future,” the statement, issued jointly between the U.S. and India, said.

India were first accorded the status during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington back in June. The statement issued then had acknowledged the US-India defense relationship as a possible “anchor of stability,” with the United States saying it will “continue to work toward facilitating technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.”

Both sides reviewed the progress in defense ties in recent years, and welcomed the “tremendous progress” achieved under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) intended to promote opportunities for co-production and co-development of weapon systems and platforms.

“The DTTI will strengthen India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and both sides committed to convening all new DTTI working groups prior to the next DTTI Group meeting anticipated for February 2017,” the statement said.

Carter’s farewell visit to India is his seventh interaction with Parrikar, and the two sides “applauded the deepened scope of India-US military-to-military ties, which includes a dramatic increase in defense trade.