USA 2+2 Talks: Egos Need to be Squashed to Strengthen Ties

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However, the significant event on Thursday was the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement, which is one the four foundational agreements that the USA signs with allies and close partners to facilitate interoperability between militaries.

"We see the US-India relationship as a natural partnership between the world's two largest democracies, a partnership that is based on the convergence of enduring strategic interests and shared respect for the rules-based order", Mattis said.

"What the protocol will be in sharing information linked to non-US systems is something that is not yet clear", he said. "They are meant to be a have an impact on the sanctioned country, which is Russian Federation".

The Trump administration has brilliantly outwitted the Modi government by making India's relations with Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan the abiding concerns of the folks in Washington.

Mattis said he and Pompeo, during the talks, gave insights on a range of issues from the North Korea sanction enforcement to counter terror cooperation, recognising that both the nations have endured the effects of senseless terrorist strikes like the one on Mumbai which killed innocents from more than a dozen countries.

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.

"We're asking all of our partners, not just India, to reduce to zero oil imports from Iran and so I'm confident that will be part of our conversation with India", the official told reporters accompanying Pompeo.

New Delhi, one of the biggest buyers of Iranian crude, will have to find measures to nullify the effect of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

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Mattis and Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sithataman also met separately before joining the other two leaders.

India is also seeking to avoid U.S. sanctions on those who do business with Russia's military and intelligence sectors.

Before coming to India, Pompeo held talks in Islamabad with Pakistan's new government and generals, aiming to smooth over tensions after President Donald Trump took a tough new line towards Pakistan over longstanding accusations it is not doing enough to root out Afghan Taliban fighters on its territory. The two countries have for decades jostled for influence in war-torn Afghanistan.

The pact signed on Thursday is an India-specific version that allows New Delhi to procure encrypted communication systems from the United States for military platforms like the C-17, C-130 and P-8Is.

She said there has been significant progress in all key areas of cooperation between the two countries.

Economic links have blossomed since India's market reforms in the early 1990s. India's bid for entry into the 48-member NSG is being opposed by China citing that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A recent Foreign Policy piece argued "America shouldn't miss its chance with India". "We have also discussed the H-1B visa issue. But the gap will remain, and so we are urging them to do all that they can to narrow that gap", he said.

"India has been doing so till now, and it will manage similarly in the future", Joshi said.