India, US seal defence pact

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Also read: India and USA are holding their first 2+2 dialogue.

"They underscore the worldwide community's scrutiny over the threat of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which has affected India and the United States alike". The agreement will be valid for a period of 10 years.

"The Ministers welcomed the launch of a bilateral dialogue on designation of terrorists in 2017, which is strengthening cooperation and action against terrorist groups, including Al-Qa'ida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-Company, and their affiliates", it added.

Trump revives shutdown threat Trump takes on Watergate reporters MORE, who were in New Delhi to meet with their Indian counterparts, signed the "Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement" to allow the sharing of sensitive military intelligence.

"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. The COMCASA will help India obtain critical and encrypted defence technologies for Indian defence platforms from the US.

It will also allow the installation of high-security USA communication equipment on defence platforms being sourced from the U.S., the officials said.

Swaraj said both the sides also agreed on working together towards entry of India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Swaraj also asserted 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.

Another US official reportedly said that India's shopping list includes advanced drones, helicopters and fighter jets, including F-16 and F-18 aircraft to replace Russian models.

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On the H-1B visa issue, Swaraj expressed hope that the U.S. would not "act against" the interest of Indians.

India is also seeking to avoid USA sanctions on those who do business with Russia's military and intelligence sectors. This visa impacts Indian IT professionals. "We see that the United States is our partner of choice", Swaraj said in her opening remarks.

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

Washington will consider waivers for Iranian oil buyers but they must eventually halt imports as sanctions are imposed on Tehran, Pompeo says. "Toward that end, the Ministers 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", said the joint statement.

The former diplomat said Modi displayed savvy instincts during his visits to the USA, meeting and courting the Indian diaspora with packed town meetings.

India had hesitated to conclude the agreement partly out of worries about the United States getting access to Indian military communications. Our nations are united by shared values and a commitment to freedom.

The two sides also made a decision to increase intelligence-sharing for "bilateral counter-terrorism".

"Recognizing their rapidly growing military-to-military ties, 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", a joint statement from India and the U.S. said.