India’s interests secured in new pact

India’s interests secured in new pact

India’s interests secured in new pact

The long-pending pact was signed after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the first edition of the "two-plus-two" talks with US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis.

India and the United States signed an accord on secure military communications that both sides hailed as a breakthrough on Thursday, possibly opening the way for sales of sensitive US military equipment to India.

The U.S.is anxious about how willing India will be to block China's inroads in the region.

The COMCASA will facilitate India's access to advanced defence systems and enable it to optimally utilise its existing US-origin platforms, according to a joint statement issued after the talks.

Beijing is in the midst of a massive militarization effort that includes island building in the South China Sea, a more powerful navy, military exercises and establishing outposts across the region.

In his opening remarks for the dialogue, US Secretary of state Pompeo said that the two nations are "united by shared values of democracy, respect for individual rights and a shared commitment to freedom".

Early Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis participated in a bilateral meeting with their Indian counterparts in New Dehli.

After signing COMCASA, India will have guaranteed access to critical USA defence technologies and communication network for the objective of inter-operability.

Known as COMCASA, this deal will allow the two countries to exchange sensitive military information quickly and securely.

"We have been discussing how we can more openly communicate back and forth because of the sensitivity of some of the technology. we have to know that when we share this with another like-minded nation, that we can keep it secure", Mattis said.

In 2016, Washington designated India as a "major defence partner", making it easier for the two countries to do arms deals.

India is also in talks with Russian Federation to buy five advanced S-400 long-range, surface-to-air missile systems, a possible deal that could face rough weather under new United States sanctions.

Pompeo told reporters after the meeting that no resolution had been made on the issue.

Pompeo also said India had committed to purchasing more energy products and aircraft from the U.S.to reduce the trade deficit.

Pompeo said that the U.S. wants to bridge the trade deficit with India, reported ANI.

If the Guardian sale goes through, India would become the first non-NATO country to buy armed USA drones.

Pompeo denied he had anything to do with the letter.

"The ministers denounced any use of terrorist proxies in the region, and in this context, they called on Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries", it said. India trades extensively with Russian Federation and Iran, which are now facing American sanctions.

"India attaches the highest priority to its strategic partnership with the United States".

But U.S. military sales to India have expanded rapidly - going from zero in 2008 to $15 billion this year.

The Modi government's decision to ramp up the defence relationship with the United States is the new, big turn on India's foreign policy front in the wake of the historic 2+2 summit Thursday.

Related news