India, US seal key defense deal

by MCR Correspondent

The visiting US Secretary of state has on October 27, 2020, stated that the United States and India are now better aligned to protect “our democracies and shared values.”

Mike Pompeo stated this after signing a key defense agreement with India.

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper in New Delhi.

Pompeo said in a joint statement that, “Our leaders and citizens see with increasing clarity that the Chinese Communist Party is no friend to democracy, rule of law, transparency.”

“I am glad to say India and the US are taking all steps to strengthen cooperation against all threats,” he said.

The agreement comes at a time when India is locked in a tense standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.

Esper said “the India-US partnership is more important than ever to ensure security, stability and prosperity of the region and the world.”

“Based on our shared values and common interests, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilizing activities by China,” he added.

Singh said bilateral cooperation is progressing well, and the two-day meeting also explored probable capacity building and other joint cooperation activities.

“We also agreed that upholding rules-based international order respecting rule of law and freedom of navigation in the international sea and territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states are essential,” he said.

Earlier, India and the US signed a landmark defense pact, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, which will allow the two militaries to “share geospatial information, high-end military technology and classified satellite data helpful for defense-related issues.”

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