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Will eventually ink other agreements pushed by US: Parrikar

Washington: Following the inking of an important logistical pact with the US, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has indicated that India is not in a hurry to sign two other foundational agreements which America has been pushing for the past several years.

“I think after 12, 13 years, we have managed to get logistic agreement in place. You could see the logistic agreement was being mixed up with setting of bases. So let me get this logistic agreement in the public domain properly and explain to the people. Then we will eventually go into the other aspects,” Parrikar told reporters at a joint news conference with the US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter.

Parrikar was responding to questions about the future of two foundational agreements — Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA); Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for Geospatial Intelligence.

These two are part of the four foundational agreements being pushed by the US for more than a decade now as part of its efforts to enhance defence ties with India.

Of the four agreements, General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed in 2002 while the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) was signed yesterday.

According to senior defence department officials, CISMOA permits secure communications interoperability between partners during bilateral and multinational training exercises and operations.

It enables friendly partner governments to receive both secure communications products and information on approved equipment for these purposes.

BECA allows for no-cost exchange of unclassified and controlled unclassified geospatial products, data, and services between India and the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Under this, partner governments agree to the exchange of topographical, nautical, and aeronautical data and products.

This agreement would enable India to obtain a range of geospatial products, training, and subject matter expert exchanges.

Additionally, NGA would be enabled to provide India with certain types of training at the NGA College as desired.

GSOMIA, which has already been signed, establishes the intent of the US and the partner country to protect each other’s classified information.

The agreement establishes a mutual understanding of classification equivalencies and an understanding of the requirements for safeguarding classified information and material.

LEMOA facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies, and services between the US and Indian militaries on a reimbursable basis, and provides a framework to govern them.