2+2 Dialogue: India-USA sign much awaited COMCASA

2+2 Bilateral Dialogue’ between the two countries, in New Delhi on September 06, 2018
  • The inaugural India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue was held on September 6, 2018 in New Delhi. From India side Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman participated whereas from US was represented by Secretary of State Mr. Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mr. James N. Mattis.
  • During the dialogue two countries signed much awaited COMCASA agreement. This is third out of four major defence agreement between the two countries.   India has already signed two of them – General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002 and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016.
  • The COMCASA will allow the USA to transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for U.S.-origin platforms like C-17, C-130 and P-8I aircraft. This agreement comes into force immediately and is valid for 10 years.  
  • Both countries resolved to continue meetings in this format on an annual basis.
  • The two sides decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs of India and the U.S. Secretary of State and between the Minister of Defence of India and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments.
  • Both sides 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 defense ties further and promote better defense and security coordination and cooperation. They noted the rapid growth in bilateral defense trade and the qualitative improvement in levels of technology and equipment offered by the United States to India in recent years.
  • US has included  India  among the top tier of countries entitled to license-free exports, re-exports and transfers under License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1) and also committed to explore other means to support further expansion in two-way trade in defense items and defense manufacturing supply chain linkages.
  • Both countries will begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.
  • The two sides committed to the creation of a new, tri-services exercise and to further increase personnel exchanges between the two militaries and defense organizations.
  • Both countries committed to start exchanges between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy, underscoring the importance of deepening their maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean.
  • The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to continue to encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and to pursue other avenues of defense innovation cooperation. 
  • A Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX) was signed.   
  •  The next 2+2 meeting is to be held in the United States in 2019.

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