India concerned about U.S. arms restrictions

Sept. 28, 2010 at 5:33 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- India has requested that the Obama administration loosen its export control restrictions to allow high-end weapons technology transfer.

During a visit to Washington Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony said that armaments export control restrictions were a "matter of concern," adding, "we want an early solution to that. Both countries have a stake in strengthening military ties. Many (deals) are in the pipeline ... some through multi-vendor routes, many more would come," the Press Trust of India reported Tuesday.

The issue is of great importance for Washington, currently the world's leading arms exporter, as an entry into India's market could be worth billions of dollars annually. In the past India has looked primarily to Russia to fulfill its advanced weaponry requirements.

Among the weapons systems that India is interested in acquiring from U.S. sources are advanced radar systems, transport aircraft, long-range naval surveillance planes equipped with advanced technology and naval vessels.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates noted that addressing Indian concerns over weaponry exports was a major agenda issue for the Obama administration.

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