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Indo-US political-military dialogue after 6 yrs

Washington: After a gap of nearly six years, the US and India would hold their first political-military dialogue in New Delhi next week during which the two countries are expected to discuss a wide range of bilateral issues.

Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Andrew J Shapiro is traveling to India next week to head the American delegation for the first India-US Pol-Mil dialogue after 2006.
"Shapiro will hold talks with senior civilian officials on defence trade, counter-piracy, and regional political-military issues, as well as the recovery and repatriation of US service members lost during the Second World War," the State Department said in a statement here.

In recent years, the US and India have significantly broadened their defence cooperation, as demonstrated by their robust engagement in bilateral dialogues, military exercises, and personnel exchanges, as well as nearly USD nine billion in defence trade since 2008, it said.

"The US and India are also working together as active participants in the 60-nation Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and are both among countries contributing naval forces to patrol regional waters," the statement said.

Sources said the talks being revived after a gap of six years would help the two countries bring together the political and military issues on one platform.

However, sources clarified that during the talks the two countries would not be discussing licensing issues.

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