Logistics pact with U.S. ‘almost done’

LEMOA gives mutual access to designated military facilities for refuelling and enables joint exercises

April 21, 2017 12:30 am | Updated 12:31 am IST - New Delhi

In just about two days, India is expected to notify the operationalising of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S.

“It is almost done; it should be issued in a day or two,” a defence official familiar with the matter said here on Thursday.

India and the U.S. concluded the logistics agreement, the first of the three foundational agreements between the two nations, last August.

Delayed work

However, its implementation has been delayed, as India was unable to streamline administrative procedures to enable its operationalisation.

LEMOA gives access to both countries to designated military facilities on either side for refuelling and replenishment in primarily four areas — port calls, joint exercises, training and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The other foundational agreements are the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Information and Services Cooperation (BECA).

The notification includes designating the points of contact for the U.S. military to work with and setting up a common account for payments. The U.S., which has similar agreements with several countries, has already notified the details.

Ratification the next step

After the notification, the U.S. is expected to formally ratify the agreement which will then operationalise the pact, the official stated.

Several U.S. officials had stated in the past that the agreements were required for taking forward high-technology cooperation forward.

Meanwhile, discussions are under way on the next one — the COMSCA — as the BECA is considered the trickiest of the three with India expressing serious reservations about the clauses as well as the need for it.

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