New Delhi: India and the US on Thursday elevated their strategic ties to a new level and signed a long-negotiated defence pact that will enable Indian armed forces to buy more sensitive military equipment from Washington while they also pledged to cooperate for ensuring “a free, open Indo-Pacific” region to contain China’s expansionist aspirations.
The talks among other key outcomes culminated in the signing of Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement (COMCASA). Sitharaman and Mattis signed the pact as two of the most powerful men in the world negotiated with two top women ministers of India. “Defence came out as the single most important aspect of our discussions today,” Sitharaman said. The pact guarantees India access to critical US defence technologies and communication network to help the militaries of the two countries in their interoperability. Indian armed forces will now also be allowed to install US-made high-security communication equipment on defence platforms sourced from America. (IANS)