India-US signed COMCASA agreement

The India and US today signed the landmark COMCASA agreement which will redefine the real-time sharing of military inputs and intelligence information between assets on both sides. The pact enabled high-transfer of power. 

 Both the Indian and U.S. governments were keen to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which could open up the way for sales of more sensitive U.S. military equipment to India.

India and the US held the first edition of the two-plus-two talks, aimed at further strengthening bilateral defence and security collaboration as well as boosting their global strategic partnership, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held talks with US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis. The United States has emerged as India’s second largest arms supplier, closing $15 billion worth of deals in the past decade,

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 authorized the sale of unarmed, surveillance versions of the aircraft. Experts believe the signing of the agreement could also reduce the chances of the United States imposing sanctions on India for looking to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.

In her opening remarks, Swaraj said she was confident that the outcome of the talks will help unleash the untapped potential of the relationship between the two nations and further elevate the level of engagement.She said there has been significant progress in all key areas of cooperation between the two countries.

In his remarks, Pompeo said both sides should continue to ensure freedom of the seas and work towards peaceful resolutions of maritime disputes. He also stressed promoting market-based economics and good governance. “Our two nations are united by shared values of democracy, respect for individual rights and a shared commitment to freedom,” he added.

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