With an eye on China, India agrees to provide military base to US
New Delhi: In an attempt to counterweight the growing maritime assertiveness of China, India has agreed to give US forces access to its military base for logistics support that involves resupplies, repair and rest.
The key agreement will also allow India to use US militray bases for the same.
However, US cannot use the base during war.
India and US have agreed to the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in principle, the two countries said in joint statement.
Washington has been urging New Delhi to sign the Logistics Support Agreement that allows the two militaries to use each other's land, air and naval bases for resupplies, repair and rest.
"We have agreed in principle that all the issues are resolved. We now need to finalise the draft," Carter said after talks with his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar.
New Delhi has had concerns that the logistics agreement will draw it into a military alliance with the United States and undermine its traditional autonomy.
Carter, who arrived in India on Sunday is on a tour across South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East with twin aims — the first to solidify the US’s rebalancing towards the region and the second to strengthen the war against the Islamic State terror group.
For India, closer US defence ties would bring greater access to American technology, and it too has been alarmed by China’s naval forays in the Indian Ocean. But India has been historically wary of drawing too near to any one country.