Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

India, US To Hold First Of Its Kind Military Exercise In 2019

India, US To Hold First Of Its Kind Military Exercise In 2019

In their joint statement, the ministers called on Pakistan to ensure that their territory was not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries.

"We see the Indo-Pacific as a free, open and inclusive concept, with ASEAN centrality at the core and defined by a common rules-based order that both our countries are pursuing", the minister said, adding India welcomed the USA interest in expanding its economic footprint in the region as they "complement our own efforts". "They will certainly come up, but I don't think they will be the primary focus of what it is we are trying to accomplish here", he said.

"We welcomed the recent designations of Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists by the United States".

The United States has emerged as India's second largest arms supplier, closing US$15 billion worth of deals in the past decade.

At the press conference, Swaraj said that the dialogue reflected the desire of leadership of the two countries to further elevate the bilateral strategic communication on cross-cutting defence and security issues.

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.

Ahead of the talks in New Delhi, a senior U.S. State Department official said the United States was engaged in "very detailed conversations" with India over Washington's request to completely stop India's oil imports from Iran. They underscore the worldwide community's scrutiny over the threat of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which has affected India and the United States alike.

"India supports President Trump's South Asia Policy".

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"Today our partnership has become one of the most consequential in the region and in the world", Mattis said.

Pompeo and Mattis will first hold bilateral talks with Swaraj and Sitharaman, and their delegations in the respective ministries.

She also said the two countries were putting in place a framework for closer cooperation between their militaries and defence establishments.

The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that was signed on Thursday had been stalled for years because of India's concerns that it would open up its communications network to the US military. Furthermore, the agreement will facilitate better synchronization of American military platforms in the Indian armed forces, and open the door for future transfers of high-end military equipment.

"He has also valued the United States as an advocate for India's permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, sought out access to cyber security cooperation to ensure progress in a growing e-commerce sector, acknowledged a growing reliance on the USA liquified natural gas to bring clean energy to an overly polluted country, and emphasized a mutual commitment to democratic values", Roemer wrote.

Additionally, an agreement was reached to open a hotline between the two countries' foreign and defense chiefs. However, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement remains pending.

The American withdrawal has entailed not only the re-imposition of unilateral U.S. sanctions on Iran but also the so-called secondary sanctions on third countries that would continue to do business with the Islamic Republic. We made a decision to elevate our strategic relations for more cooperation. "We have appealed to the U.S. to keep this a high-priority in our ties", Swaraj said.

She also noted that there was a growing convergence of views, including on the Indo-Pacific, during the discussion among the four ministers.

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