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NSA Doval meets members of USISPF, discusses cooperation in defence, space

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has met the members of a top American India-centric strategic and business advocacy group during which they discussed bilateral ties, particularly in the field of defence, space, and cybersecurity field, a media release said Thursday.

Doval is leading a high-powered delegation to the US.

The board members of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) met Doval on Wednesday and they also discussed undersea and innovative intelligence, surveillance, building sophisticated reconnaissance systems, and U.S. restrictions on the export of technology, the USISPF said in a statement.

"On a government-to-government level, the recent visit of the NSA and the welcome he has received in the US mark a high point in the defence and strategic relationship between Washington and New Delhi, USISPF president Mukesh Aghi said.

It also accentuates the level of trust that the United States has in India, as a key defence partner, despite not being a treaty ally, he said.

USISPF believes it is time for the US to remove the export barriers of the late 1990s and allow its private sector to work with its Indian counterpart to take the US-India defence partnership to the next level," Aghi said.

During the hour-long meeting, the USISPF members touched on how the private sector can coalesce and work with both governments on traditional defence capability and deep-tech collaboration, especially in the era of autonomous weapons where non-state actors pose a pernicious threat to a nation's vulnerability.

Since the seminal nuclear deal, the US-India defence cooperation has only improved over the years, USISPF said.

This meeting underscored US defence companies' commitment to producing military hardware under the Government of India's Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant) initiative and, on the software side, on advanced technologies in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI), it said.

As India and the US discuss greater cooperation in critical and emerging technologies, USISPF will work with both governments and the private sector to enhance synergy across defence security, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and the 'Make in India' initiative to consolidate India as a hub for defence manufacturing in the Indo-Pacific region, it said.


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