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India, US Hold Meeting on Missile Defense

India and the United States agreed to hold joint workshops on missile defense at a two-day meeting that concluded in southeast India's Hyderabad on Friday.

"The two sides continued discussions on issues related to missile defense and highlighted the security contribution that missile defenses can make," the Indo-Asian News Service Friday quoted Navtej Sarna, spokesman of external affairs ministry as saying.

The Indo-US cooperation in the field of missile defense is set to cement the growing Indo-US defense relations, which are no longer limited to strategic cooperation and policy reviews, but have come to include joint military maneuvers and the supply of US military hardware to India.

Last year, after the United Progressive Alliance government headed by Manmohan Singh took charge in May, the Indo-US Defense Policy Group, the highest policy making body that coordinated defense ties between the two countries, held a meeting to review and expand the Indo-US defense cooperation.

The defense ministry has acknowledged "a dramatic improvement in Indo-US military-to-military relations during the past few years."

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2005)

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