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NEW DELHI, 27 October 2020, (TON): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper arrived here on 26 October for the third round of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh,to enhance bilateral defence and security ties and discuss cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
On 27th October, Pompeo and Esper + Jaishankar and Rajnath will hold the 2 + 2 talks to discuss various issues as well as border tension at Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Line of Control (LoC), covering the entire expanse of defence and security ties as well as key regional and global issues.
The talks are taking place at a time India is engaged in a bitter border standoff with China and Pakistan, and the issue is expected to figure in the deliberations.
Pompeo and Esper are also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
The two sides are likely to finalize BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement to further boost bilateral defence ties. The BECA will provide for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries. It needs to recall that since designation of India as “Major US’ Defence Partner" the US and India has already agreed to the codification and other procedure to boost strategic defence partnership.
Post Indo-Pacific Agreement, India maintaining Commands’ fleet of C-17 and P-8 aircraft to carryout electronic and imagery data surveillance and providing this information to other partners. Besides China, Pakistan and Iran are being monitored round the clock to update master data at centers at US and elsewhere.