2+2 Dialogue: India-US sign historic COMCASA agreement

India and the United States signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) during their first-ever ‘two plus two’ dialogue, which was held in New Delhi on September 6, 2018. The key agreement will open up the way for the sale of more sensitive US military equipment to India. It will help India obtain critical and encrypted defence technologies for the Indian defence platforms from the US.

The high-level talks were held between the foreign and defence ministries of the two nations. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hosted the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis for the inaugural dialogue.

The Ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the United States and committed to expand the scope of India’s MDP status and take mutually agreed upon steps to strengthen defence ties further and promote better defence and security coordination and cooperation.

The Ministers also announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defence industry cooperation and collaboration. The two sides also committed to the creation of a new, tri-services exercise and to further increase personnel exchanges between the two militaries and defence organisations.

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