Touting ties: US, India announce military drills

Touting ties: US, India announce military drills

He said that Washington did not aim to "penalise great strategic partners like India".

The two sides also said hotlines would be set up between the Indian defence minister and her U.S. counterpart and the Indian foreign minister and her USA counterpart. Besides, Indian forces can tap into the Common Air and Tactical Picture or Maritime Domain available with the US.

"We fully support India's rise as a leading global power", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the start of the summit.

Sushma Swaraj will have a separate bilateral meeting with Mike Pompeo while Nirmala Sitharaman will have a one-on-one meeting with James Mattis on Thursday morning before the delegation-level two-plus-two talks. Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis are holding long-delayed talks Thursday with top Indian officials, looking to shore up the alliance with one of Washington's top regional allies.

With Thursday's Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), India has concluded three of the four foundational agreements with the USA that had been planned for years.

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

"We discussed efforts by India and the U.S. to promote an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan government-controlled reconciliation process that brings together all ethnic groups in the country".

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

However, reports say Pompeo and Mattis were likely to press their counterparts to stop buying Iranian oil.

Raja Mohan downplayed reports in the USA and Indian media that Trump has mimicked Modi's accent in meetings with his top officials.

India is also seeking to avoid U.S. sanctions on those who do business with Russia's military and intelligence sectors.

Most recently, the US has taken issue with India's purchase of oil from Iran and its planned acquisition of a Russian missile defense system.

India is the world's third-biggest oil importer and Iran's second after China. It already has sold US Apache attack helicopters and other gear, and is negotiating to sell armed drones to India.

In May, Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and said other countries, including India, must stop buying oil from Tehran before November 4 or face USA sanctions.

Pompeo denied he had anything to do with the letter. "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.

At stake was Washington's goal to increase security cooperation, including arms sales, with New Delhi at a time when India is balancing its relationship with the USA with ties to BRICs partners China and Russian Federation.

"It not only allows us to be more interoperable with India, but it allows India to be more interoperable across its own systems.most significantly, it opens up a range of defense technologies to India", Joseph Felter, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, told a small group of reporters.

The administration of US President Donald Trump - which took office some two years after that deal had been struck - unilaterally withdrew the US from the agreement on May 8, over the objections of Europe as well as Russian Federation and China.

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