The Pentagon on Friday said it is “deeply disappointed” over two U.S. companies losing India’s multi- billion dollar combat fighter deal, but made it clear that the bilateral defence ties would not be affected.

In a separate development, without referring to the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Barack Obama views India-U.S. ties as an anchor to America’s approach in Asia.

Mr. Carney said the U.S. is committed to deepening its relationship with India and would continue to pursue top priorities with the country.

“President Obama has great respect for the Indian people, a close partnership with Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh, and views this relationship as an anchor to our approach in Asia and the promise of the 21st century,” he told PTI.

The Pentagon said the U.S. remains convinced that it offers its defence partners the world’s most advanced and reliable technology.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said the Defence Department was “deeply disappointed” at India’s decision to exclude American companies from the purchase order.

“We are deeply disappointed by this news but we look forward to continuing to grow and develop our defence partnership with India and remain convinced that the United States offers our defence partners around the globe the world’s most advanced and reliable technology,” he said.

Mr. Carney said the United States is committed to deepening its cooperation, and partnering on a bilateral, regional, and global level to address the major challenges of the coming decades together.

“We will continue to pursue top priorities with India, such as balanced economic growth, counter-terrorism, global security and stability, education, agriculture, trade and investment, and the advance of democratic values,” he said.

“Our commitment to addressing these challenges together demonstrates the growing strength and purpose of our strategic partnership,” the White House spokesman said.

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