The United States Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India on par with America’s allies like South Korea, Australia, Israel and Japan in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, PTI reported on Tuesday. This will increase defence cooperation between the United States and India.

The National Defense Authorisation Act, or NDAA, for the financial year 2019-’20 was passed by the United States Senate last week. The amendment provides increased cooperation between the United States and India in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

It was introduced by Senator John Cornyn with the support of Senator Mark Warner.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up its own version of the NDAA before legislators adjourn for the month-long August recess on July 29.

The Hindu American Foundation appreciated Senators Cornyn and Warner for their efforts in advancing the strategic partnership between both the countries. “Elevating India to non-NATO status is vital, now more than ever, for the US, for India, and for the entire region,” Samir Kalra, who is the managing director of the foundation, said.

The move came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with United States President Donald Trump ahead of the opening of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 28. Both the leaders discussed a host of key matters, including trade and defence relations.

In July 2018, the Trump administration had granted Strategic Trade Authorization Tier 1 status to India, which is largely accorded to NATO allies. The move identified India’s growing status as a US defence partner.

In 2016, India was recognised as a “Major Defence Partner” by the United States. This allowed India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies that is on par with that of US’ closest allies and partners.