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Indo-US 2+2 meet: COMACASA doubtful, decision on Russian deal to be conveyed

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, Sep 3: At the 2+2 dialogue between India and the United States of America, the decision to go ahead with the Russian deal to procure a batch of S-400 missiles will be conveyed.

    The decision will be made known despite the American sanctions on countries engaging in military transactions with Moscow, sources tell OneIndia. India would be hoping for a waiver on this deal to escape sanctions.

    Indo-US 2+2 meet: COMACASA doubtful, decision on Russian deal to be conveyed

    The dialogue would be hosted by External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompey and defence secretary Jim Mattis would be travelling to India for this dialogue to be held on September 6.

    The S-400 missile deal with Russia is almost concluded and India would be going ahead with it A highly placed source said that India's position on the same would be conveyed. India would cite its requirement for the missile system in the wake of evolving regional security architecture.

    Also Read | 2+2 dialogue an 'opportunity to enhance India-US ties': Official

    It would be interesting to see the US reaction on the same as the country has not fully reconciled with India's decision to acquire the S-400 missile system from Russia.

    COMCASA doubtful:

    Meanwhile both India and US may not sign the security pact at the meet. The signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) is doubtful as there is still work on in this regard. The draft is being looked into by lawyers on both sides.

    There are certain concerns on the language and unless these issues are sorted out, the signing appears doubtful. The COMCASA once signed would facilitate exchange of secure communication between the two militarise and allow the sale of encrypted communication systems to India. Concerns have been raised that this would allow the US to listen into Indian secure communication channels. However plenty of work has been done on this and issues have been overcome, following which India agreed to go ahead with the agreement.

    Other announcements expected:

    Cross posting of officials at the US Defence Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) and India's recently created Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) to work on joint development projects.

    Also Read | India-US military communications agreement: Issues still remain

    US sale of MH-60 Romeo maritime helicopters and armed drones through the Foreign Military Sales programme. The US has already cleared the legislative hurdles to sell armed drones to India.

    A joint tri-service amphibious Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise which has been in the works is also expected to be announced.

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