Diplomacy

India, US may sign key military deal during defence, foreign ministers meet

Photo: Representational Only.

New Delhi: India and the US will hold their second 2+2 ministerial dialogue among their defence and foreign ministers on Dec. 18 in Washinton, D. C., when the two sides are expected to discuss and finalise the full extent of their bilateral relations.

From the Indian side, Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, will lead the Indian delegation.

They will meet their American counterparts — Dr. Mark T. Esper and Michael R. Pompeo — for a comprehensive review of cross-cutting foreign policy and defence and security issues in our relations. In addition, both sides will exchange views on salient regional and global issues, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

The India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue was initiated in Sep. 2018 in order to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the bilateral strategic partnership and to promote synergy in diplomatic and security efforts.

Since the inaugural edition of this dialogue in Sep. 2018, relations between India and the US have further expanded. The 2+2 Dialogue will take stock of these growing relations and provide strategic guidance for their further development.

On Dec. 7, the Economic Times reported that the two nations are expected to sign the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) agreement that will enable transfer of technology by a US firm to its Indian partners in the private sector.

In the first 2+2 dialogue between the two nations in Sep. 2018, India’s then external affairs minister (late) Sushma Swaraj and then defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman met with US secretary of state Pompeo and then defence secretary James Mattis.

The two sides had then signed the long-negotiated ‘Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement’ (COMCASA) that now facilitates India to obtain critical defence technologies from the US, and access critical communication network to ensure interoperability among the US and the Indian armed forces.

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