India, US to sign 3 'foundational' defence pacts

25 February 2016

The US is close to signing three foundational agreements with India in fields of defence and communications that will give a big boost to the bilateral ties, a top American military commander has said.

"We were moving out aggressively in technical field with DTTI (Defense Technology and Trade Initiative)," US Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris said in response to a question on India-US defence relationship.

"There are some what we call foundational agreements that have to be executed with partner nations in order to move, quote unquote, 'to the next level'. And we are working with India on the signing of those foundational agreements," he said during his testimony before the House Committee on Armed Services.

One of those is the LSA or Logistics Support Agreement, which allows cross-servicing for example acquisition cross-servicing, he said.

"Another one is called the CISMOA (Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement), and it involves communications security so that we can be assured that India will protect our communications as we would protect theirs," Admiral Harris said.

 "So these are foundation agreements that we enact with every country we work with. We have not gotten to the point of signing them with India, but I think we're close. We're closer now than we ever have been, and I'm encouraged by what I'm hearing from my colleagues in India, and I look forward to having that discussion with them when I go there next week," he said.

The Pacific Command Commander is headed to India next week for a wide range of talks with his Indian counterparts.

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