To further facilitate defence cooperation between the two nations, India and United States, on Tuesday, signed Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) during the third 2+2 talks.
“Signing of Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation, BECA, today after signing of LEMOA in 2016 and COMCASA in 2018 is a significant achievement in that direction,” Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said during the meeting.
Rajnath Singh along with his cabinet colleague External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held the talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper, in New Delhi.
“Today’s U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial was a success. The bond between our nations is built on the foundation of a longstanding friendship, partnership, and vibrant democratic traditions,” Pompeo said.
BECA will give India access to US geospatial data and it opens the door for purchase of the armed drone and fighters from US.
Speaking further on other noteworthy steps taken by both India and US in follow up to our earlier discussions, he said. “These include Positioning a USN LO at IFC-IOR and Indian LO(liasioning office) at NAVCENT, Bahrain; greater interaction and coordination with CENTCOM and AFRICOM; setting up of the COMSEC account and increasing the scope and complexities of our exercises. Now LO's at each other's establishments could be leveraged to enhance our information sharing architecture. To sum it up, our military to military cooperation is progressing well.”
The two defence ministers earlier met on Monday to discuss the issues of mutual interest.
“The partnership of our two great nations is vital to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” Esper said after his meeting on Monday.
In a significant development, the two sides “explored probable capacity building and other joint cooperation activities in third countries, including our neighbourhood and beyond.”
“We have convergence of views on a number of such proposals and will take those forward,” Rajnath said.
In a joint statement, the two sides welcomed the inclusion of Australian Navy in the U.S.-India-Japan MALABAR Naval Exercise scheduled to be held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea in November 2020. This completes the formation of Quad against China.
The visiting ministers also held meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.