New Delhi/Washington, Jan 2: To enhance Economic and Defence related ties in the Indo-Pacific region, US President Donald Trump, in December, signed the 'Asia Reassurance Initiative Act' and Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister of India has hailed this step by the US President.

The 'Asia Reassurance Initiative Act' (ARIA) has allocated a budget of $1.5 billion over a five-year period to enhance cooperation with America's strategic regional allies in the region and states that the US recognizes the vital role of the strategic partnership between the United States and India in promoting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

It also calls for strengthening and broadening of diplomatic, economic, and security ties between the two countries.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has hailed the Trump administration decision and tweeted saying: "...designation of India as a major defense partner...is unique to India"

She further wrote,"This elevates defense trade, technology cooperation between the United States and India to a level commensurate with closest allies and partners of the United States".

According to the Act, it is the policy of the US to develop and commit to a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted, and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region that secures its vital national security interests and its allies and partners.

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