COMCASA: India to get access to real-time encrypted information from US

COMCASA: India to get access to real-time encrypted information from US

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a two-plus-two setting.

India welcomed the recent U.S.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has notably chose to purchase Russian-made S-400 missile systems, despite US opposition, a move that US Defense Secretary James Mattis downplayed on his way to India this week.

Before coming to India, Pompeo held talks in Islamabad with Pakistan's new government and generals, aiming to smooth over tensions after President Donald Trump took a tough new line towards Pakistan over longstanding accusations it is not doing enough to root out Afghan Taliban fighters on its territory.

India and the United States also vowed closer cooperation in counterterrorism operations.

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However, he said that "China is a big elephant in the room in any discussion between New Delhi and Washington as far as the India-Pacific region is concerned".

The United States and India on Thursday signed an agreement for closer intelligence sharing and military collaboration, the State Department announced. She also announced that India and the USA will hold their first ever joint tri-services exercises off the eastern coast of India in 2019.

Mattis said the agreement will deepen "military-to-military cooperation and our ability to share the most advanced defense technology, making us both stronger", according to a Pentagon readout of the press conference following the meeting.

The India-U.S. "2+2" talks - called that because they include the top diplomatic and defense officials of both countries - have been postponed twice, the last time when Pompeo was dispatched in July for talks in North Korea.

The ministers committed to enhance their ongoing cooperation in multilateral fora such as the United Nations and Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and reaffirmed their support for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism, the joint statement said.

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While Pompeo termed the agreement a "milestone" in the relationship, Sitharaman asserted that the pact would enhance India's defence capability and preparedness. On the eve of the talks, India approved the purchase of helicopters, howitzers and air defense missile systems worth around Rs 46,000 crore including 24 naval multi-role MH-60 "Romeo" choppers worth Rs 13,500 crore.

The United States is also pushing countries to halt oil imports from Iran after U.S President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal between Iran and six world powers that was meant to stall Tehran's developing nuclear capabilities.

However, a new defence bill proposes giving the USA president authority to grant waivers when national security interests are at stake.

Washington, however, is concerned about an imminent deal India is making with Russian Federation to buy the S-400 missile system. The United States has since been trying to persuade countries to economically isolate Iran.

"We will consider waivers where appropriate but ... our expectation (is) that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed", Pompeo said.

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