India 2 plus 2 dialogue to take place on Thursday

India 2 plus 2 dialogue to take place on Thursday

India 2 plus 2 dialogue to take place on Thursday

Top Indian and U.S. officials on Thursday touted deepening ties that will see greater cooperation between the two countries' militaries and will likely result in India buying more American arms.

According to the joint statement, the two sides signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will facilitate access to advanced defence systems and enable India to optimally utilise its existing US-origin platforms.

To assuage Indian concerns that Washington might deactivate Comcasa-safeguarded equipment in the event of India undertaking an operation the United States did not subscribe to. The sources said text of the agreement is nearly ready. The momentum in that arena has "imbued a tremendous positive energy" to U.S. -India relations, she said. "I think that we're pretty much there already, on the American side", Mattis added.

Once the communications accord is in place it could lead to the sale of an armed version of Guardian drones, as Washington has so far only authorised the sale of unarmed, surveillance versions of the aircraft.

Pompeo also said the United States would work with India on another area of concern - India's upcoming purchase of a Russian missile and air-defense system known as the S-400. They also discussed key issues, including cross-border terrorism, India's bid for membership of the nuclear suppliers group and the H1B visa issue.

"Some countries we don't want this tech to fall in the hands of", Felter said, adding the USA has similar agreements with less than 30 countries.

He also stressed on promoting market-based economics and good governance.

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Despite the friendly tone of the summit, there are plenty of issues India and the U.S. do not see eye-to-eye on.

In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the dialogue was a reflection of shared commitment of the two countries to provide a positive, forward-looking vision to their strategic partnership and rowing convergence on important issues.

"We're asking all of our partners, not just India, to reduce to zero oil imports from Iran, and so I'm confident that will be part of our conversation with India", the official said as Pompeo and Mattis met with their counterparts in the Indian capital.

The United States is pushing all countries to halt oil imports from Iran after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers and ordered a re-imposition of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The Obama administration designated India as a major defense partner for the United States, and the Trump administration hopes to build upon that with the new agreement as China looms in the region. The US' sanctions on import of Iranian petroleum products will be effective from November 4. "Thus the goal of the sanctions", Pompeo said.

The agreement was signed during a meeting in New Delhi among U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and their Indian counterparts.

MEA Spokesperson Kumar called the meeting between Swaraj and Pompeo a "productive" engagement. Only macro issues were discussed, a senior South Block official said on condition of anonymity.

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