28 OCTOBER 2020
INDIA AND US TWO PLUS TWO DIALOGUE
India and the US hosted a ministerial dialogue on 27 October, 2020 in New Delhi and discussed various bilateral issues on national and international matters.
India and the US have comprehensive global strategic partnership in political, security, economic, defence, commercial, technology and people to people contact.
The earlier two meetings were held in New Delhi in September 2018 and in Washington DC in December 2019.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and US Defence Secretary Mark Esper attended the meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
On Tuesday, 27 October 2020, India and US signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial cooperation (BECA) during the 2 plus 2 Ministerial dialogue and reviewed bilateral defence cooperation on military, communication systems and information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues.
BECA will enable greater sharing of geospatial information between the armed forces of two nations. This will improve the accuracy of missiles during precision strikes by sharing geospatial maps and charts acquired from multiple sources like satellites, aircrafts, aerostats and others. The US has accepted to cooperate in the advanced field of maritime domain awareness also.
Apart from the BECA, the two nations agreed on technical cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences, extension of the MoU on Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, electronic exchange of customs data and cooperation in traditional Indian Medicines.
The meeting has been taken as “warm and productive” and discussed on issues in ensuring stability and security in Asia.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said:
“The discussions had political military content. Our national security convergences have obviously grown in a more multi polar world. We meet today to not only advance our own interests but to ensure that our bilateral cooperation makes a positive contribution in the world arena.”
This time India faces the big challenge that China poses on LAC, maritime sphere and SAARC region cooperation and Quad.
Regarding the SAARC region, US has already announced a defence agreement with Male and economic package on Sri Lanka. This will lead to a strategic dialogue in coming days.
Earlier, the US administration has been tough on trade issues with India on issues like sharing of 5G Technology and defence strategies.
On 18 December 2019, India and the US held a security dialogue in Washington, signed an industrial security agreement allowing defence technology transfer under Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
During the pandemic it’s a demonstration to the world that the two nations have come together to discuss issues on Indo-Pacific regions and keep the importance during the election season ahead of the presidential election in the US.