India, USA hold successful 2+2 dialogue

India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, and Minister of Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman, held the inaugural India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue with US Government’s Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense, James Mattis

September 6, 2018

Talks at the summit included an agreement to expand India’s status as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the US as part of a broader initiative to promote better defense and security ties

India has been included by the US among the top tier of countries with access to license-free exports, re-exports and transfers under the License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization

India, US signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will aid access to modern defense systems and enable India to utilize its existing US-origin platforms

Following the critical 2+2 Dialogue, ongoing co-production and co-development projects under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) are expected to receive a fresh boost

The Governments of India and the United States held the inaugural bilateral Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi on September 6. The summit was led by India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, and Minister of Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman, along with the US Government’s Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. Both sides welcomes the summit as a leap in the commitment made by  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump to bolsters the India-US strategic partnership and to promote synergy in bilateral diplomatic and security efforts.

 

The event, which commemorates 70 years of India-US diplomatic cooperation, saw the signing of a number of critical agreements that will strengthen the ties going ahead. Talks at the summit included an agreement to expand India’s status as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the US as part of a broader initiative to promote better defense and security cooperation. Bilateral defence trade and sharing of technology and equipment has already recorded a rapid increase in recent years. Indian and the US also discussed expansion in bilateral trade in defense items and defence manufacturing supply chain linkages.

 

India has recently been included by the US among the top tier of countries with access to license-free exports, re-exports and transfers under the License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1). This growing relationship led to the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). COMCASA will facilitate access to advanced defense systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing US-origin platforms. At the Dialogue, the leaders also announced plans to begin talks on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry collaboration.

 

Following the Dialogue, co-production and co-development projects under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) is expected to receive a boost. The US Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX) already have ongoing cooperation. Both sides also discussed a host of bilateral, regional and global trade, investment, security and development issues. In the recent times, India and the US has held a number of meets to improve bilateral cooperation. The next 2+2 meeting will be held in the US in 2019.

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