U.S. and India agree to major defense pact
US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (L), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2L), Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj (2R) and Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (R). Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. and India agreed Thursday to open a secure military communications hotline. The move could allow the U.S. to sell India sensitive defense technology, including armed surveillance drones, reports Reuters.
The big picture: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are in New Delhi for "2+2 talks" with their Indian counterparts. Per Pompeo, the agreement marks a major "milestone" in the bilateral relationship, as both the U.S. and India seek to counteract shared threats posed by militant groups in Pakistan and the rising influence of China.