USA 2+2 Talks: Egos Need to be Squashed to Strengthen Ties

World       by Muhammad Irfan | Published

World by Muhammad Irfan | Published

Further, sources said, both sides have reached an understanding that in case of a conflict with any other agreement arrived at during the purchase of any specific military equipment from the USA, the Comcasa shall prevail. Sitharaman and Mattis signed the pact as two of the most powerful men in the world negotiated with two top women ministers of India.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis in New Delhi.

Great significance is being attached to the COMCASA agreement that will enable India to access advanced United States defence systems and optimally utilise its existing US-origin platforms.

As for what weapons India is looking at purchasing from the US, Director of the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Lieutenant General Charlie Hooper, said simply that discussions were underway to sell "many, many systems" to India, according to The Financial Times.

In her opening remarks, Swaraj said she was confident that the outcome of the talks will help unleash the untapped potential of the relationship between the two nations and further elevate the level of engagement. "Specifically, I conveyed our expectation for a non-discriminatory and predictable approach to the H1B visa regime, given its high impact on innovation, competitiveness and people-to-people partnership, all of which are a vital source of strength for our relationship", she said in her media address.

India has a $25 billion trade surplus with the United States, and to reduce that the Trump administration is reportedly pressing India to take more U.S. imports.

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The two countries also referred to terrorist attacks on Indian military bases - Pathankot and Uri, for example - and asked Pakistan to crackdown on terrorism in its territory.

They came amid a series of divisive issues, including Washington's demands that India stop buying Iranian oil and a Russian air-defence system and news reports that President Donald Trump had privately mimicked the accent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The statement effectively says that New Delhi has cleared impediments to the transfer of military high-technology to India.

In May, the United States withdrew from the landmark Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed the sanctions that had been suspended in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear programme.

Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The Indian side is understood to have explained how important Iran was for India for meeting its oil and energy needs and its proposed deal with Russian Federation for purchasing S-400 Triumph missile defence systems that could attract sanctions against Indian entities under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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New Delhi, one of the biggest buyers of Iranian crude, will have to find measures to nullify the effect of United States sanctions on Iran.

Talking about her bilateral meeting with Pompeo before the 2+2 dialogue, the external affairs minister said they reviewed the direction of the Indo-US relations in recent months and exchanged views on a number of regional issues of shared concern.

MEA Spokesperson Kumar called the meeting between Swaraj and Pompeo a "productive" engagement.

"Our position on the issue will be conveyed to the United States", said a high-level official source.

The format was first agreed to previous year, during a visit to the US by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting with US President Donald Trump.

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