New Delhi: India and the US signed the defence pact, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement or BECA today during the 2+2 dialogue at Hyderabad House in the national capital in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are holding the talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper in the third edition of the 2+2 Dialogue.
With this agreement, the information collected by American satellites will be shared with India. With this, India will have access to sensitive communication data of America. This will make the capability of Indian missiles accurate and extremely effective. The agreement will allow the two countries to share extended geospatial information between the armed forces.
The signing of BECA with the US is a “significant” move, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said as he briefed the media after the high-level talks. “We held comprehensive discussion on range of key issues: Inking of BECA with US a significant move. Our military to military cooperation with US is moving forward very well. We identified projects for joint development of defence equipment. We reaffirmed our commitment to peace and security in Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the situation in the Indo-Pacific was also discussed during the talks. “Our national security convergences have grown; Indo-Pacific was a focus of our discussion,” he said.
US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said that the growing defence and security partnership between India and the US will keep a check on the situation in the Indo-Pacific at a time when China is attempting to expand its economic and military clout in the region. The sensitive satellite and sensor data provided by the US under the agreement will allow India to keep a close watch on the movements of Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean.
Speaking after the talks, Pompeo said, “US and India are taking steps to strengthen our cooperation against all manner of threats and not just those posed by the Chinese Communist Party. Last year, we’ve expanded our cooperation on cyber issues, our navies have held joint exercises in the Indian ocean.”
Including BECA, India and the US signed five agreements during 2+2 Dialogue:
1. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement
2. Agreement for Technical Cooperation on Earth Sciences
3. Arrangement Extending the Arrangement on Nuclear Cooperation
4. Agreement on Postal Services
5. Agreement on Cooperation in Ayurveda and Cancer Research