US widens military ties with India involving three naval commands, Army and Air Force

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 December 2019, 23:07 GMT]
The Defence and Foreign Ministers of India and the USA, who met in Washington DC on Wednesday for their second annual US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue resolved to enhance cooperation between the Indian Navy and the US Navy Fleets under three commands, the US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command and Africa Command. The ministers “discussed ways to enable closer Army-to-Army and Air Force-to-Air Force ties and to explore cooperation between Special Operations Forces,” a joint statement said. Both the countries also entered an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) to the already existing defence cooperation to expand the exchange of classified military information between the US and Indian defense industries, including the private sector. In addition, the US President Donald Trump made a ‘rare break from protocol’ to meet the Indian ministers at the Oval Office, the Hindustan Times reported.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was accorded a ceremonial US military welcome with 19-gun salute ahead of his bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Defense Dr Mark Esper at the Pentagon.

The military and diplomatic ties were guided by the shared vision of US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the joint statment from India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper and US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, said.

The US “reaffirmed its strong support for India’s permanent role in a reformed UN Security Council and for India’s early entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” the statement said.

The statement called on Pakistan to take “immediate, sustained, and irreversible” action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorism against other countries in any manner.

The National Judicial Academy in Bhopal, India and the US Federal Judicial Center would continue their judicial cooperation on “terrorism” cases, the statement further said.

“The Ministers supported freedom of navigation and uninterrupted maritime trade in the Strait of Hormuz, and reaffirmed the importance of ensuring peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, including through North Korea’s dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the statement added.

The United States has welcomed India establishing an Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), and decided to place a U.S. liaison officer there.

Apart from military and cyber security, several trade and energy programmes including nuclear power cooperation as well as joint programmes within the fields of science and space have been discussed in the ministerial meetings held in Washington DC.

External Links:
US Department of State : Joint Statement on the Second U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue
Hindustan Times: India, US sign key defence pact, discuss cross-border terror at 2+2 meet



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