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India – US Military Hotline Soon

India and United States are likely to discuss the possibility of establishing a hotline between India’s defence ministry and the Pentagon for better coordination between the two militaries and the defence leadership.

This will be one of the four major points of discussions at the 2+2 dialogue between India and the United States — postponed twice but now scheduled to be held in New Delhi on September 6 — informed sources told this reporter.

The other three focus areas would be to:

  • Finalise an information and industrial protocol for ensuring safety and security of critical technology and classified defence information that major US defence companies would share with the Indian private sector for joint ventures in India
  • Explore ways of increasing cooperation and coordination in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Arrive at a common text of key defence agreement like the Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement (COMCASA) – a defence foundational pact.

The 2+2 dialogue for strategic-level talks was agreed upon by the two sides during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US trip in June 2017. The new format replaced the strategic and commercial dialogue between the foreign and commerce ministers of the two countries held during the Obama administration.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will host US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.