U.S., India seal military communications pact, plan more exercises

U.S., India seal military communications pact, plan more exercises

U.S., India seal military communications pact, plan more exercises

The US has gone to great lengths to forge a closer bond with India as Washington seeks partners to push back against China's economic and military rise across the region.

The administration of US President Donald Trump - which took office some two years after that deal had been struck - unilaterally withdrew the US from the agreement on May 8, over the objections of Europe as well as Russian Federation and China.

They said the pact, which came into effect immediately, will ensure interoperability among the United States and the Indian armed forces.

"And so we'll work our way through the waiver decision as the days and weeks proceed, and we'll do that alongside our partner, India, as well", he said.

The U.S. and India also agreed to hold a new military exercise.

The officials said the focus of the two-plus-two talks will be to deepen global strategic partnership between the two countries and resolve differences over India's defence engagement with Russian Federation and crude oil import from Iran.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the two sides discussed the US sanctions against Iran, a nation India relies on as an energy supplier.

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

To lure Indian buyers and protect is oil revenue, Iran has been offering extended credit terms and nearly free shipping. Currently, the Indian and United States navies, airforces and armies exercise separately. "But our mission set is to make sure that Iran doesn't engage in malign behaviour with wealth that comes from countries around the world, thus the goal of the sanctions", he said.

With the 2008 Mumbai attacks marking a decade this year, "we recognized the importance of justice and retribution for the masterminds behind this terrorist attack", Swaraj said, adding that India supported Trump's South Asia Policy that calls for Pakistan to stop its policy of supporting cross-border terrorism.

"We've had lots of times where we've talked and made agreements, but we haven't been able to actually execute those".

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. They're going to purchase more aircraft from the United States. "But the gap will remain, and so we are urging them to do all that they can to narrow that gap", he said.

Despite Trump's efforts, government officials in India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and Iran's top oil client after China, say that it would be hard to fully halt supplies from Tehran.

"The ban has been lifted and we are now dipping our toes in the USA oil market but, the political risks involved remain high", said one Chinese oil trader who spoke to AMI on condition anonymity", when a tanker leaves the Gulf coast it can take 50 days to reach China.

Last week, a top U.S. government official warned India that Washington can not guarantee New Delhi a special waiver from sanctions if it buys new weapons platforms from Moscow.

Defense cooperation, in particular, has emerged as the "most significant dimension" of the U.S. -India relationship, said Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. New Delhi is also concerned over recent U.S. move to increase tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from countries China and India.

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