India and the U.S. have signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) pact in Washington DC
India and the United States signed a major defense agreement that will allow the two countries to use each other’s military bases, officials said Tuesday. Also, read an excellent article on LEMOA.
The agreement was signed by India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar who is currently on a visit to United States.
“India and the U.S. have signed the Logistics is Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in Washington DC,” reads a statement issued by the Indian government on Tuesday.
“LEMOA is a facilitating agreement that establishes basic terms, conditions, and procedures for reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies, and services between the armed forces of India and the U.S.”
Following the signing of agreement, Parrikar addressed a joint news conference with U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter at Pentagon office.
“We have had excellent discussions, and both of us are satisfied at the progress we are making in our defence ties,” Parrikar in his statement at joint press conference said.
“As was noted, this is our sixth meeting in about a year. Indeed, defence cooperation between India and the U.S. has never been stronger than it is today.”s per the pact, the militaries of two countries can use each other’s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply. The agreement is viewed as an indication of growing deeper defense ties between the two countries.
Reports said the discussions to ink the pact were going on between the two nations for nearly a decade. Indian politicians and its defense officials were wary that it would bring New Delhi into a formal military alliance with United States, where India has to support conflicts of the United States, which would likely earn an ire from other countries.
The process to deepen the ties and increase the proximity, however, accelerated during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure.
The LEMOA also allows for reciprocal exchange of logistics support, supplies and services between the militaries of two countries.
“ogistic support, supplies, and services include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, communication services, medical services, storage services, training services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services, calibration services, and port services,” the official release said.
“Reciprocal logistic support would be used exclusively during authorised port visits, joint exercises, joint training, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.”
However, this agreement, according to officials, is not incumbent on either party to carry out any joint activity or establishment of bases.
“The agreement does not create any obligations on either party to carry out any joint activity,” officials said. “It does not provide for the establishment of any bases or basing arrangements. ”
Indian defense ministry officials believe that the agreement would significantly enhance the operational capacity of the Indian armed forces especially during their response to humanitarian crisis or disaster relief.
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