NIRMALA TO GET A HOTLINE WITH MATTIS AS INDIA, US SCALE UP TIES
NEWDELHI: India and the US have agreed to set up a dedicated hotline between their defence ministers for real time communication on global security issues and coordination between the first and the fourth strongest militaries in the world, according to Indian government officials familiar with the matter. An announcement to this effect is expected on September 6 during the so-called two-plus-two dialogue between US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and defence secretary James Mattis with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi.
South Block sources said India has agreed to a decade-long US proposal for a dedicated line between the defence leadership of the countries. The basic idea is to cut through bureaucratic red tape and communicate discreetly in matters of bilateral and multilateral importance. With both the countries interested in the IndoPacific region and happenings in West Asia, the hotline is expected to ensure cogent response from the two major defence allies.