India & US sign COMCASA, Pompeo says no decision on S400

The COMCASA will facilitate 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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Sushma Swaraj briefs media as India-USA sign historic COMCASA agreement
NEW DELHI: Terming the 2+2 dialogue between India and the United States as a historic dialougue, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, today announced the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) between the two nations.

The COMCASA will facilitate 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.

Both the countries also decided to work together towards India's entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). "We agreed on working together towards entry of India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," said Swaraj.


In her statement she stressed upon "India’s robust and responsible export control policies," that has helped India be in the list of countries eligible for Strategic Trade Authorization Tier-I License Exemption.

The Minister reaffirmed India's commitment to the Indo-Pacific as a "as a free, open and inclusive concept" and defined by "a common rules-based order." She also welcomed American interest in expanding its economic footprint.

India and the US also called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries, a joint statement on the dialogue said. The two sides also expressed support for an ‘Afghan-led’ and ‘Afghan-owned’ peace process. They also agreed to start exchanges between the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy as part of deepening maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean. The meeting also witnessed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Intent between the US Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX).

US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo said, "It's 10 years to this day that under intense lobbying by the US, NSG granted India a waiver on nuclear commerce...Today our two countries entered into an ambitious plan to elevate our security cooperation across a number of areas. The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement is a major step forward in our defence collaboration and coordination. It will allow us to better protect freedom in the Indo-Pacific.”
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He also said that no decision has been made on the S-400. The Rs 40,000 crore deal with Russia to procure a batch of S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems is stuck in a flux with the looming threat of US sanctions.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced that India and US will be carrying out Tri-Services Joint exercise off the eastern coast of India in 2019.

In their joint statement, the two sides decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs and the U.S. Secretary of State, and between the Minister of Defence and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments. They also announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA).
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