Pompeo, Mattis set for meetings with top Indian officials

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Further, sources said, both sides have reached an understanding that in case of a conflict with any other agreement arrived at during the purchase of any specific military equipment from the U.S., the Comcasa shall prevail. The sources said text of the agreement is nearly ready. The momentum in that arena has "imbued a tremendous positive energy" to U.S. -India relations, she said. "I think that we're pretty much there already, on the American side", Mattis added.

During the talks external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had with USA secretary of state Michael R Pompeo and defence secretary James Mattis, the two countries also chose to set up hotlines between them.

Once the communications accord is in place it could lead to the sale of an armed version of Guardian drones, as Washington has so far only authorized the sale of unarmed, surveillance versions of the aircraft. The two sides also discussed key issues, including cross-border terrorism, India's NSG bid and the contentious H-1B visa issue. "Specifically, I conveyed our expectation for a non-discriminatory and predictable approach to the H1B visa regime, given its high impact on innovation, competitiveness and people-to-people partnership, all of which are a vital source of strength for our relationship", she said in her media address. He also stressed promoting market-based economics and good governance. "The discussions are a work in progress", the official said. The two nations, holding their first two-plus-two dialogue in New Delhi, also called on Islamabad to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of Mumbai, Pathankot and Uri attacks.

The ministers committed to enhance their ongoing cooperation in multilateral fora such as the United Nations and Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and reaffirmed their support for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism, the joint statement said.

Ahead of the talks in New Delhi, a senior USA state department official said the United States was engaged in "very detailed conversations" with India over Washington's request to completely stop India's oil imports from Iran.

The US only signs COMCASA agreements with trusted allies, and Washington hopes to deepen its military ties with India.

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Iran reached a deal with originally six world powers in 2015, agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for mainly the lifting of restrictions on its oil sales.

The United States has emerged as India's second largest arms supplier, closing US$15 billion worth of deals in the past decade.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are on an official visit to India with a top agenda priority of pressuring New Delhi to stop buying Iran's oil. The US' sanctions on import of Iranian petroleum products will be effective from November 4.

"India has nearly concluded the S-400 missile deal with Russian Federation, and we are going ahead with it".

The sides also chose to increase "information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists", the joint statement issued after the meeting said.

Pompeo and Mattis were in India for their first joint meeting with their Indian counterparts, a conclave aimed at showcasing areas of agreement between the world's two largest democracies - while downplaying areas of tension.

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