India and the US reiterated their commitment to advancing a free, open, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. And the 2+2 Indo-US Ministerial Dialogue in Washington DC on Wednesday, both sides agreed to further strengthen their military-to-military cooperation between the Indian Navy and the US Navy Fleets under US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command, and Africa Command.
According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the talks between defence minister Rajnath Singh and his US Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper reviewed the progress made in the Indo-US Military Cooperation since the first 2+2 Dialogue in 2018.
To further expand defence and trade ties both countries have finally concluded the long-awaited Industrial Security Annex agreement and also concluded the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Framework for DTTI. While the two have identified projects to be executed under the DTTI, this will allow greater collaboration between the private companies of India and the US. So far India and the US have concluded defence trade to the tune of $18 billion and has played a significant role in creating jobs in the US defence industry.
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For deepening defence relations the two countries have concluded agreements including the foundational agreement for mutual logistics support, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA); Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). Though progress has been made in the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) has yet to be inked.
At the end of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue both defence Minister Rajnath Singh as well as external affairs minister S Jaishankar called on the US President Donald J Trump at the Oval Office and were accompanied by US National Security Adviser Ambassador Robert O’Brian.
2+2 Dialogue & CAA
Responding to media queries about CAA, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar, said that “The issue was not raised during the Dialogue but the US has been explained India’s perspective on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. And it has conveyed that it was an internal affair of the county.”
Kumar said that defence minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met US Secretary of Defense Dr Mark T Esper and Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and discussed the prevailing situation in India explained its perspective to the US.
“The ministers during discussions referred to Prime Minister Modi’s statement on maintaining peace, unity and brotherhood. It was conveyed that India is well-equipped to deal with the situation.”
To a question about the UN body’s statement on CAA, the official spokesperson told the media persons that “It is an affirmative action and our understanding is that countries across the world understand that CAA is an internal matter of India and it is not discriminatory. Our outreach will continue.”
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Source: Financial Express