Tuesday, March 24, 2009

India willing to work with US on anti-satellite weapons

India, which is one of the few countries in the world to have significant space capabilities, is willing to work with the US to develop anti-satellite weapons, a top diplomat has said.

"This is an area of convergence on which we would be happy to work together with the US and contribute to a multilateral agreement," Shyam Saran, Prime Minister's Special Envoy, said in his address to the Brookings Institution.

Saran was referring to the recent announcements made by the US President, Barack Obama, about his intention to join multilateral efforts to prevent military conflict in space and to negotiate an agreement to prohibit the testing of anti-satellite weapons.
India welcomes this, he said. "We have a large number of communications and resource survey satellites currently in orbit. Although this does not fall strictly within the nuclear domain, the need to ensure the peaceful uses of outer space, is important for nuclear stability and international security," Saran said.

In 2007, China had destroyed one of its own defunct satellites with a ballistic missile, sparking global concerns. In February last year, a US Navy ship too launched a missile that hit a dying spy satellite.

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