The United States Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India as America’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally for increased defence cooperation. The resolution provides for increased US-India defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and in the areas of counter-terrorism, maritime security and in facilitating humanitarian assistance. The Indian Ocean has remained a crucial area of geopolitical interest and hence granting of this status will further strengthen ties in this region.

The National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) introduced this year contained the proposal and was passed by the US Senate last week. The resolution was introduced by Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator John Cornyn with the support of Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Warner in the US Congress. The bill would be signed into law soon after both chambers of the US Congress pass it. The House is expected to take up its version of the NDAA, later in July this year before it finally concludes the session for the August recess.

The Hindu American Foundation has issued a statement praising Senators Cornyn and Warner for their extraordinary efforts in advancing the US-India strategic partnership. The US had earlier in 2016 acknowledged India as a major defence partner that allows India to purchase more advanced and sensitive technologies from the US ensuring closer defence cooperation.

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