US Congress: Legislation introduced to fast-track weapons sales to India

The legislation seeks to place India on equal footing with allies of the US by accelerating the review and sales process for foreign military sales and exports under the Arms Export Control Act.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a joint meeting of Congress at the Capitol in Washington. (Photo | AP)
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a joint meeting of Congress at the Capitol in Washington. (Photo | AP)

WASHINGTON: A legislation to fast-track weapons sales to India has been introduced in the US Congress, with a group of lawmakers saying strengthening the strategic partnership of the nations will
safeguard their shared security interests.

This comes amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi's State Visit to the US at the invitation of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

The legislation introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday seeks to place India on equal footing with other partners and allies of the US by streamlining and accelerating the review and sales process for foreign military sales and exports under the Arms Export Control Act.

While in the House of Representatives, it was introduced by Congressmen Mike Waltz, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Andy Barr and Marc Veasey, in the Senate, it was Mark Warner and John Cornyn.

"The United States and India are bonded by our shared national security interests and democratic values which is why it is so important we continue to strengthen our global partnership to address the threats of today," Waltz said.

The Congressman said that as "our militaries continue to conduct joint military exercises and coordinate through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, streamlining military sales will help our two nations bolster security in the Indo-Pacific region".

Barr said that "by removing red tape around military sales, we are recognising India as the key partner it is". "Together, the United States and India will continue to cooperate and safeguard our shared national security interests and promote stability in the Indo-Pacific region," he said. Barr said that as the world's largest democracies, "strengthening our global partnership is paramount in addressing the challenges of today and securing a safer future for all".

Strengthening the US-India strategic partnership is vital to the prosperity and security of not only both nations, but also other democracies around the world, Krishnamoorthi said. "That is why I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation to expand security cooperation between the United States and India by adding India to the list of partners included in the Arms Export Control Act," he said.

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