Gates in India for arms talks

US defence secretary meets prime minister to discuss military deals.

    The proposed deal would prove India with 126
    multi-role fighter jets [AFP file] 

    Earlier this month India agreed to buy six Lockheed Martin military transport planes worth about $1 billion.

     

    The deal marked a major shift in military policy for India, which has traditionally looked to Russia for arms and aircraft.

     

    Gates is currently on an eight-day global tour, visiting Australia, Indonesia and Turkey in addition to India.

     
    Nuclear controversy
     
    The discussions come despite talks stalling between the two nations on a landmark nuclear co-operation deal which would reverse decades of US anti-proliferation policy with a nation that has tested nuclear weapons and refused to sign non-proliferation treaties.

    The agreement permits the US to send nuclear fuel and technology to India, which in turn would separate its military and civilian nuclear programmes and allow international inspections at civilian facilities.

    However the agreement ran into stiff opposition in India and the US, with members of US Congress and India's communist parties expressing anger at the deal.

    Some Indians worry that it would allow the US to exert influence over their country's foreign policy, while in the US officials have expressed concern that it could lead to India's increasing its nuclear weapons supply.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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