BECA and other agreements between India and US are in the works: Senior US govt officials

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 23, 2020 Published on October 23, 2020

India-US 2+2 dialogue will focus on global cooperation, pandemic response

The India-US 2+2 discussions next week will focus on global cooperation on pandemic response and challenges in the Indo-Pacific incorporating economic space and energy collaboration, people-to-people ties, and defense and security cooperation, according to senior US government officials

On whether the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) between India and the US on sharing of geospatial information and a maritime agreement will be signed at the time of the visit of the US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on October 26-27, the officials said that the agreements were in the works but a commitment couldn’t be given.

“We’re in the process of finalising a lot of the discussions right now, and so I know that BECA and other agreements are in the works. I’m not going to, I think, commit to anything right this minute, but we do expect to have several items highlighted as we go through the trip,” said Dean R Thompson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, at a press briefing early morning on Friday.

Also read: Pompeo, Esper to call on PM Modi, NSA Ajit Doval during visit next week

Pompeo and Esper will lead the US-India 2+2 meeting, with their Indian counterparts Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh, on October 27. The previous two Dialogues, on defence and strategic ties, were held in New Delhi in September 2018 and in Washington DC in December 2019.

After completing their tour in India, Pompeo and Esper will also visit Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia. The visit is just ahead of the US Presidential polls scheduled on November 3.

Also read: US-India dialogue on foreign affairs to take place this fall: Beigun

“The 2+2 format is reserved for our closest friends and partners and reflects our belief that the United States and India are stronger, more secure, and more prosperous when we work together,” said Thompson.

Secretary Pompeo and Defense Secretary Esper will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss ways in which we can advance the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

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Published on October 23, 2020
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