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    United States Air Force pilots and crews walk beside F-16 aircrafts parked on the tarmac during the Cope India 05 Indo-US joint military exercise, at the Kalaikunda Air Base, some 130 kms south west of Kolkata, 17 November 2005

    Sharing Of Military Bases Between India and US to Soon Become Reality

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    As India is all set to conclude a security deal with the US, experts warn it could prove dangerous to the existing regional security alliance.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) – After much dilly-dallying, India and the US are set to sign an agreement which would pave the way for sharing each other's military bases for logistic and humanitarian assistance. The draft of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) is ready and is likely to be signed during the forthcoming visit of India's Defense Minister to the United States. The three day visit of Manohar Parrikar, India's Minister of Defense, will begin from August 29. The agreement, however, will not give access to Indian bases for the deployment of US troops. India and the US had agreed in April this year to conclude the LEMOA soon.

    After extensive discussions, both countries have agreed upon the draft of the LEMOA. The draft agreement says that the LEMOA will not grant the deployment of US troops on Indian soil' under any circumstances. Both nations will have to seek advance permission to use the facilities, which are mainly for training, exercises, port calls and humanitarian assistance.

    Sources says that India has taken care that the agreement with the US will not adversely impact relations with other friendly nations, as every request will be considered on a case by case basis. The LEMOA is slightly different from the Logistic and Supply Agreement (LSA) which is signed between the US and its military allies.

    While the agreement seems innocuous enough, some voices of dissent have been raised, predicting that that the deal is likely to disrupt India’s existing security alliances.

    “Its implication is far greater because we are giving access to people who require access from us more than we will get. This actually put us in a very vulnerable position because we are strategically going against regional security alliances (China & Pakistan in this particular case)," said a senior Indian political analyst, Nilanjan Mukhopadhya.

    The Indian government has made assurances that India will never sign an agreement which will project India as a military ally of the US.


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