The United States has deepened and strengthened its relationship with India, a senior State Department official said Tuesday.
Assistant Secretary of State for the Political-Military Bureau, Jessica Lewis, also said India is an incredibly important country in the region.
“We have deepened and strengthened our relationship with India, the largest democracy in the world, an incredibly important country in the region, and we are continuing to do so,” Ms. Lewis told Defense Writers Group.
“I think the way we see it is we offer India a choice when it comes to deepening and strengthening their security relationship with us. I feel very good about where that is going. Obviously, they have a long history of course, but I think we are making very good progress on that front,” Ms. Lewis said.
Responding to a question, Ms. Lewis said that a year after the Ukrainian war, countries around the world are looking to diversify their weapons.
“We are seeing countries coming to us and saying look, we may need to diversify in ways that they haven’t before, off Russian equipment. Mainly because they are seeing the failure of Russia and Soviet doctrine in the war, but also raising questions about the equipment that Russia is providing and Russia’s ability to keep providing that equipment,” she said.
“We think that this moment in time presents an opportunity for us to look at the question of as countries are becoming interested in the transition off Russian equipment both for the US and for our partners and allies it does make sense for us to offer countries a choice. I think that’s how we’re thinking about it. We’re offering countries a choice,” she said.
There are really strong benefits to having a strong security cooperation relationship with the U.S. that goes beyond just a security cooperation tie and getting the best military equipment in the world, she said, adding it is also about deepening ties, having conversations, working on issues like human rights, Ms. Lewis said.