Readout of Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis’ participation at the India 2+2 Dialogue
Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:
On September 6, India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hosted Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mattis in New Delhi for the first U.S.-India 2+2 Dialogue.
The 2+2 is a demonstrable signal of the U.S. and India’s shared commitment to a forward-looking strategic partnership based on shared values and strategic interests.
Both sides welcomed the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), an agreement that will deepen our interoperability and facilitate India’s access to advanced defense systems. They also look forward to initiating negotiations on the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), a second enabling agreement that will facilitate greater defense industrial cooperation.
The U.S. reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner (MDP), the Ministers committed to expanding the scope of India’s MDP status to encompass greater strategic and security coordination. The Ministers also welcomed the establishment of a new, tri-service military exercise as a tangible commitment to increase our military-to-military ties and growing interoperability.
Both sides acknowledged the increasing importance of defense trade and defense innovation in our strategic partnership. Towards that end, the Ministers welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization - Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX).
The Ministers also committed to start exchanges between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy, underscoring the importance of deepening their maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean.