New Delhi [India], October 27 (ANI): US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday called the signing of Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) between India and the US "a significant milestone," saying that the accord will lead to greater geospatial information sharing between the armed forces of the two nations.
Defense Secretary Esper said the BECA, which is the last of the foundational defence agreement, will lead to expansion of secured communication capabilities between the militaries and defence leadership of the two countries.
"It is significant to note that we have achieved a significant milestone today, with the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement, the last of the foundational defence agreement between our countries, which will enable greater geo-spatial information sharing between our armed forces," Esper said.
The Defense Secretary added that India-US has "also reached an agreement to expand secured communication capabilities between our militaries and our defence leadership. And our defence, trade and technological cooperation continue to grow as reflected in India's acquisition of Apache and Seahawk helicopters earlier this year."
Esper further said despite today's challenging security environment, the partnership between India and the US, the world's two largest democracies remained resilient, strong and growing.
The US has reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive and forward-looking defence partnership with India.
"During our meeting in the last two days, we have reaffirmed our United States commitment to a comprehensive and forward-looking defence partnership with India and discuss the opportunity to discuss our regional cooperation, military to military interaction and defence trade relations," Esper said.
He said 15 years after the conclusion of the US-India defence framework, the defence ties between the two nations remain as a key pillar of the overall bilateral relationship.
"Based on our shared values and common interest we stand shoulder to shoulder for a free and open India-Pacific for all," Esper added. (ANI)