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National News

Oct 27, 2020
4:22PM

India, US hold 3rd bilateral two plus two Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi; sign landmark defence pact BECA

Tweeted by @MEAIndia
India and US today held the 3rd bilateral two plus two Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi and signed the landmark defence pact BECA. The signing of BECA is significant as it allows India to use global geospatial maps of the United States for accuracy of stand-off weapons like cruise and ballistic missiles. 

From the Indian side, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar led the delegation. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper led the US delegation. India and US signed five agreements in total.
 
In the press statement after the meeting, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, signing the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, BECA after signing of LEMOA in 2016 and COMCASA in 2018 is a significant achievement. He said, they had comprehensive discussions on key aspects of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. He said they also explored probable capacity building and other joint cooperation activities in third countries, including India's neighbourhood and beyond during the meeting. 

The Defence Minister said both sides also agreed that upholding the rules based international order, respecting the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the international seas and upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states are essential. He said they shared assessment of the security situation across the Indo Pacific and reaffirmed commitment to peace, stability and prosperity of all countries in this region. He said the two sides will continue to work together to strengthen engagement in defence security and other areas.
 
In his statement, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said discussions covered developments in India's neighbouring countries and they made it clear that cross border terrorism is completely unacceptable. He added that the Indo Pacific region was the particular focus of the talks. He said they reiterated the importance of stability and peace and prosperity for all countries in this region.
 
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said US will stand with India as country confronts threats to their sovereignty and liberty. Secretary Pompeo said he alongwith Secretary Esper visited National War Memorial to honour brave men and women of Indian armed forces, including 20 killed by PLA in Galwan Valley. He said US and India are taking steps to strengthen cooperation against all manner of threats and not just those posed by Chinese Communist Party. He added that India and US expanded cooperation on cyber issues, and navies have held joint exercises in Indian ocean. He added that US values India as a multi-lateral partner, whether it is through the quad, making Afghan peace negotiation successful or working together during India's upcoming term on UN security council. He also said US continues to support India's permanent membership of UNSC.
 
US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said, based on shared values and common interests, India stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilising activities by China. He said as the world confronts a global pandemic and growing security challenges, the India-US partnership is more important than ever to ensure security, stability and prosperity of the region and the world. The US Secretaries of State and Defense also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 

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