September 6th, 2011
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US did not prefer Antony as Defense Minister: Wikileaks

antonyNew Delhi: Wikileaks leaks out that, US considered A K Antony to be an incumbent minister who drags his feet in inking crucial bilateral military pacts with US. US had preferred Pranab Mukherjee to A K Antony as Defense Minister. Washington, however, was extremely happy that India was turning to US instead of Russia for arms imports as India seemed to be “frustrated” with Russia for huge delays and price hikes in defense projects.

Timothy Romer is said to have believed that A K antony is more cautious in taking defense related decision than Pranab who is quicker at making decisions regarding arms deal between India and US. As per the US embassy cables US frustrated with the “bureaucratic inertia and recalcitrant officials” in Indian defense and foreign ministries continuing to “complicate attempts to improve the partnership”.

US however praised the role played by Pranab Mukherjee in the discussions on the EUM (end-use monitoring) pact “offers an opportunity to deal with a minister who has demonstrated the ability to conclude bilateral agreements without painstaking reviews (unlike Antony or the bureaucrats in both the defence and external affairs ministries)”.

Much to US dismay with Antony leading the dissenters, India has not yet inked the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA), much to US dismay despite years of hard-sell.



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