U.S. Now Has Greater Confidence in Sharing Technologies with India: Arun Singh
Editor's Note: In an interview with LiveMint, Arun Singh, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, discusses the India-U.S. 2+2 dialogue and bilateral ties.
New Delhi: The inaugural “2+2” dialogue between the defence and foreign ministers of India and the U.S., which took place last week, has brought the spotlight back on the positives in bilateral ties, according to Arun Singh, a former Indian ambassador to the U.S. The signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) is not so much about India aligning with U.S. interests, as some critics have said, but shows that the U.S. has greater confidence in sharing high-level technologies with India, which would contribute to building it capabilities, he said. Edited excerpts:
What was the outcome of the first ever “2+2” dialogue? How far has the India-US relation reached in terms of forging strategic trust and discarding long-held prejudices?
The “2+2” served its purpose at this stage amid some dissonance in bilateral relations, and flux in global order. With the “2+2” having been postponed twice, and President Trump’s priority focus being elsewhere, differences on tariffs, market access, intellectual property had acquired centre stage in setting the tone for the relationship. This meeting once again highlighted the positive, the convergence in interests, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and in the fight against terrorism. Several decisions, such as signing of the COMCASA, agreeing to the first tri-services joint exercises, and establishment of hot lines between the foreign and defence ministers and their counterparts, were taken. This would provide additional mechanisms for enhancing coordination and confidence.