On Thursday, the United States Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster described himself as a friend of India. Juster explained he was working towards making India a member of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG.)

Juster said, “One compliment that does resonate with me was offered by the President of India when I presented my credentials: he called me ‘a friend of India’. It is a comment that others have made as well, which I consider a great honor… We are working closely with India to help them secure membership in NSG.”

On Thursday, Juster was giving his inaugural policy speech on U.S. India relations in New Delhi. He was quoted saying, “It is now time to make sure that the strategic partnership is a durable partnership.”

Juster further added, “We seek to assist India’s efforts to build up its indigenous defense base and capabilities, as well as enhance the interoperability of our two forces as major defense partners in the Indo Pacific region.”

The Ambassador also said the U.S. offered Indian liaison officers to be stationed at the U.S. Pacific Command. He also said a tech innovation center in Silicon Valley has also been offered. This facility is offered by the U.S. to a handful of allies mostly from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO.)

Juster also pointed out that the U.S. will have more defense deals with India in the coming year. Juster said, “Perhaps in the next year we can announce some major agreements in fighter jets, advanced helicopters, unmanned ground vehicles and intelligence exchange.”

He added, “U.S. is more than just a defense supplier to India. We need to continue the present trend in defense trade, that’s now at $ 15 billion.”
The Ambassador also mentioned the ongoing conflict with Pakistan. He explained the U.S. has a zero tolerance policy towards terrorism. He said, “President Trump and other U.S. leaders have been clear that we will not tolerate cross-border terrorism or terrorist safe havens anywhere.”

Juster ended his inaugural speech by stating India was on its way to being an alternative hub for American companies.

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