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Logistics pact not binding: U.S. official

New Delhi: The United States has said that the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) it has offered to India is not binding on the country and transactions under it would be voluntary and on a reciprocal basis.

A senior U.S. official also pointed out that the LSA would facilitate interaction between the armed forces of the two “friendly nations” by reducing red tape.

Citing as a case in point, he referred to the recent evacuation of Indians in Lebanon when the Indian Navy had to purchase fuel for its ships. “We replenished your vessels with fuel and other supplies for which you paid huge amounts. With an LSA, this would have been on a reciprocal basis,” the official said.

The LSA would take care of such situations, he said. “You provide us with similar facilities when our [defence] aircraft land at Indian airports or our [naval] ships call at your ports.”

“It’s a valuable method of reducing friction and red tape,” another U.S. official said.

The Left parties have objected to India entering into such an agreement with the U.S. — PTI

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