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Media Availability with Secretary Carter at the Mangeshi Temple in Goa, India

April 10, 2016
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter

STAFF:  So you had a question first? 


               Q:  (OFF-MIC)


               SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ASH CARTER:  Well, this is to take yet more steps in the important security relationship between the United States and India.  We do that in a way that is very respectful of India's own independent strategic interests. 


               So we know that India works with other countries as well, but we very much appreciate the collaboration with the United States.  It's one of the strongest we have. 


               And we believe, certainly in the United States, that the United States and India, because they have so much in common, both in interests and their peoples, that they are destined to be strategic partners in this century. 


               And very grateful to the minister for hosting me here.  And he and I will be talking about a large number of activities, technology projects, exercises, and so forth that reflect the closeness of the U.S.-India strategic relationship. 


               STAFF:  (OFF-MIC) Did you have a question? 


               Q:  Mr. Secretary, do you expect to close any agreements, particularly make any decisions on either the jet engines or the aircraft carrier or any of your other research projects? 


               SEC. CARTER:  I'm looking forward to speaking to the minister.  Our very first stop here was to this temple, which I'm very honored to have the opportunity to visit. 


               And I thank you, and I thank very much our tour guide here and the principal religious figure at this temple for taking the time to be with us. 


               So stay tuned for tomorrow, but, yes, I expect that we're doing things, I see Frank Kendall is here, in the co-production, co-development, and technology-sharing areas, which are the critical areas that reflect Indian interest in -- and particularly Prime Minister Modi's and Minister Parrikar's in making India. 


               And that's where our co-production and co-development comes in, and technology-sharing.  And also, of course, we work a lot in the maritime area.  And that's what we'll be doing tomorrow, a reflection of India's Act East policy and our rebalance policy.


               Q:  Mr. Secretary, what makes your relationship so special?


               SEC. CARTER:  Two things from my point of view, I'll just say.  First, it is a reflection of the relationship between our two countries.  And so this would be one of the most important defense ministers in the world for me to interact with under any conditions.


               It also so happens that he is obviously known here in Goa, but also in India for his management abilities.  And then, lastly, if I may say so, I enjoy being with him and he has become a good friend over several times we've been together now while I've been secretary of defense. 


               STAFF:  Thanks everyone, appreciate it. 



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