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.
Sushma Swaraj said that the decision has been taken to set up new hotline so that she and Pompeo, and Jim Mattis and Nirmala Sitharaman, can be in continuous touch with each other. The exercise will involve sea, land, and air forces. She also announced that India and the U.S. will hold their first ever joint tri-services exercises off the eastern coast of India in 2019.
"Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-Company, and their affiliates", it said.The two sides further reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing and future cooperation to ensure a stable cyberspace environment and to prevent cyber attacks.
Known as COMCASA, this deal will allow the two countries to exchange sensitive military information quickly and securely. We also recognise the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, renaming US Pacific Command to the US Indo-Pacific Command.
"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 said as Pompeo and Mattis met with their counterparts in the Indian capital. The US is reportedly unhappy with India's plans to buy the S-400 long-range, surface-to-air missile system from Russian Federation.
None of the four officials who spoke to reporters after the summit but did not take questions mentioned whether the S-400 issue had come up.
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"They are (missile system purchase from Russian Federation and oil from Iran) part of the conversation". Thanks to the intense advocacy from the USA, 10 years ago today, the Nuclear Suppliers Group voted to allow India to trade in civil nuclear materials and technologies.
"The sanctions aren't meant to adversely impact countries like India", said Pompeo.
Pompeo said the "2+2" talks were "forward looking".
Pompeo denied he had anything to do with the letter.
He noted access to Iranian oil imports were vital to India's growth in the coming decades, while the United States is demanding allies cut trade with Tehran.
While Pompeo termed the agreement a "milestone" in the relationship, Sitharaman asserted that the pact would enhance India's defence capability and preparedness.
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.
The meeting also focused on regional stability in South Asia, South-East Asia and Indo-Pacific, where the USA is seeking to counter-balance China's growing military assertiveness in the region.