India-US 2+2 Dialogue LIVE Updates: Pompeo Says US Stands with India as it Faces Challenge to Its Sovereignty, Calls China a 'Threat' to Freedom & Security

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India and the US signed the historic defence pact, BECA, today during the 2+2 dialogue that will facilitate the sharing of high-end military technology, geospatial maps and classified satellite data between their militaries. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper are attending the key dialogue. 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." External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the Indo-Pacific region was the particular focus of the talks and added that the representatives of the two sides reiterated the importance of stability and peace and prosperity for all countries in this region.

Pompeo and Esper arrived in New Delhi on Monday for the third edition of the two-plus-two ministerial dialogue which is taking place just a week ahead of the American presidential election and in the midst of India's festering border row with China. Ahead of the Tuesday's dialogue, both Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held separate discussions with their US counterparts. In a tweet, Esper said the partnership of "our two great nations is vital to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific." On the meeting between Jaishankar and Pompeo, official sources said they discussed "shared concerns and interests" including stability and security in Asia as well as the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.


◕ "US values India as a multi-lateral partner, whether it's through the quad, making Afghan peace negotiation successful or working together during India's upcoming term on UN security council, we continue to support India's permanent membership of UNSC," US State Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said as leaders of the countries issued a joint statements after India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

'Confront Chinese Communist Party's Threats To Security & Freedom': Pompeo | "Today is a great opportunity for two great democracies to grow closer. We've a lot to discuss today-to cooperate amid pandemic, to confront Chinese Communist party's threats to security and freedom, to promote peace and stability in the region,' US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said during the talks. Earlier in the day, Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark T Esper visited the war memorial and lay wreaths in honour of the soldiers ahead of the India-US 2+2 dialogue.

◕ NSA Ajit Doval had a very constructive meeting with US Secy of State Mike Pompeo and US Secy of Defense Mark Esper, at South Block, say sources. They discussed a number of issues and challenges of strategic importance. Both sides highlighted the need to take forward shared objectives and build capabilities across all domains so as to ensure a safe, stable and rule-based regional and global security environment.

What is BECA? India and the US will ink a key defence pact on Tuesday that will provide for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between their militaries. Officials told news agency PTI that BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement), which is the last of four foundational agreements for strengthening defence ties, will be signed during the third edition of the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries to be held today.

◕ "We are happy that we've completed the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement), which will open new avenues in the information sharing. We are eager to discuss further issues with US." Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during India-US 2+2 Ministerial dialogue. Singh added that India-US partnership has become more important in view of current challenges and reiterated that both countries believe in rule-based order and democracy.

◕ "Great discussion with @DrSJaishankar ahead of our third U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. We agree that the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership is critical to the security and prosperity of both our countries, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world." Pompeo tweeted ahead of the Dialogue.

Pitching 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' to US, Rajnath Invites American Cos to Invest in Defence Amid Tension with China | Defence Minster Rajnath Singh and US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper on Monday reviewed military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing. Defence trade and industrial issues were also discussed to take bilateral cooperation forward between the two countries. Singh further elaborated upon the initiatives under the Atmanirbhar Bharat to encourage investments in the defence ministry and invited US companies to avail "liberalised policies and favourable defence industry ecosystem in India". Earlier, Singh received Esper at the lawns of the South Block in Raisina Hills, reflecting the importance India is attaching to the visit by the two top officials of the Trump administration. The US defence secretary was also accorded a tri-services guard of honour. The Indian delegation at the talks included Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy.

◕ In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner" intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners. The two countries inked the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 that allows their militaries use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies as well as provide for deeper cooperation. The two countries signed another pact called COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018 that provides for interoperability between the two militaries and provides for sale of high-end technology from the US to India.