India and US begin high-level 2+2 dialogue

On Tuesday, India and the US started a high-level dialogue. The objective of the discourse is ramping up the overall defence and security ties and boost strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. This comes at a time when China is trying hard to increase its economic and military clout in the region. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held the third version of the 2+2 dialogue with Defence Secretary Mark T Esper and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This is taking place parallel to India-China standoff in eastern Ladakh. Also, Trump’s administration is having tussle with China over a number of issues. They include Chinese military’s belligerent manoeuvres in the South China Sea and trade tariff.

During the talks, the two parties will sign on a long-negotiated treaty knows as BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement). This will provide for the sharing of geo-spatial maps, high-end military technology, and classified satellite data. By means of the agreement, India will get access to classified geospatial data as well as critical information having significant military applications. In the last few years, the Indo-US defense ties have been on an upswing. In June 2016, the US had nominated India a “Major Defence Partner”. The same year the two countries signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).

LEMOA allows the militaries of both countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies. In 2018, the two countries inked another vital pact called Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). Talking about the 2+2 talks, its first edition took place in Delhi in September 2018. In December last year, the second edition of the dialogue took place.

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