India, U.S. will sort out sanctions waiver: Mattis

Nirmala Sitharaman gets guard of honour at Pentagon
India and the U.S. are planning to “sort out” issues around a U.S. sanctions waiver related to India’s purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile defence system from Russia, U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis told the press at the Pentagon on Monday.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is now on a visit to Washington.
Asked if he expects India to get a waiver, Mr. Mattis said, “Yeah, you know, India has spent many, many years in its non-aligned status. It’s drawn a lot of weapons from Russia. We have a growing strategic confluence of interests with our country and theirs… and we’ll sort out all those issues here today, and in the days ahead.” The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump in April 2017. However, the President may make an exemption to CAATSA as per the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY19 — Mr. Mattis was pivotal in pushing for this part of the legislation, citing India and other countries as examples of those with historic ties to Russia now wanting to purchase U.S. defence equipment. Ms. Sitharaman was given an extended honour cordon (guard) at the Pentagon on Monday where she and other Indian officials visited for talks with Mr. Mattis and his team. Ms. Sitharaman and Mr. Mattis spoke briefly on bilateral ties and Mr. Mattis took a few questions from the press. Regarding the White House reaching out to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan about supporting the peace process in Afghanistan, Mr. Mattis said, “It’s time for everyone to get onboard, support the United Nations, support Prime Minister Modi, support President Ghani and all those who are trying to maintain peace and make for a better world here.”
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