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Cabinet takes up Comcasa on eve of India-US 2+2 dialogue

COMCASA aims to give a legal framework for the transfer of highly sensitive communication security equipment from the US to India that would streamline and facilitate interoperability between their armed forces.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2018 00:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
HT Correspondent,India-US ties,Mike Pompeo
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on September 5.(AFP Photo)

In the run up to the India-US 2+2 dialogue, the Union Cabinet took up the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement, a foundational defence pact which could be signed between the two countries on Thursday, said a person familiar with the development.

COMCASA aims to give a legal framework for the transfer of highly sensitive communication security equipment from the US to India that would streamline and facilitate interoperability between their armed forces. It will allow India to operate high-end secured communication equipment installed on American platforms acquired by Indian armed forces, such as C-130 J, C-17, P-8I aircraft, and Apache and Chinook helicopters. “The India US relationship is destined for an upward trajectory and Washington has a lot to offer,” a US official told HT on Tuesday.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that the talks will be primarily about ‘about things that are big and strategic and will go on for 20, 40, 50 years’. He added that the dialogue will include issues like waivers and exemptions from the Iran and Russia sanctions but not be focused on them.

“They’re part of the conversation. They’re part of the relationship. They will certainly come up, but I don’t think they’ll be the primary focus of what it is we’re trying to accomplish here,” Pompeo said to reporters traveling with him.

India had earlier signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in August 2016. A third foundational agreement is the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) is yet to be finalised.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 00:48 IST