The high profile 2+2 meeting between India and the United States of America (USA)is now scheduled for October 26-27, which is just before the US Presidential elections on November 3.
2 leaders of the USA will meet 2 leaders of India
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and the US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper will participate in the discussions with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. There may be one on one meetings between Rajnath Singh and Esper, Pompeo and Jaishankar, and another meeting in which all four will be participating.
There was some possibility of a virtual meeting and it may still happen, but as of now, a visit is more likely. However, this time, American leaders will visit India as last year, Indian leaders went to the US.
Some important decisions can be taken in the meeting
There are two major issues to be discussed in the meeting. The final foundational agreement, the Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement (BECA), and the Maritime Information Sharing Technical Arrangement or MISTA are on the agenda list and could be signed. The final version of the BECA document is being looked at by both sides. Under this BECA, there will be an exchange of imagery, hydrological, and topographic data.
Although, two foundational agreements between the USA and India have been already signed, i.e, the LEMOA or the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and the CISMOA or the Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement.
India wants cooperation from the USA
India also wants cooperation from the USA in the Western Indian Ocean region to keep a closer watch on Pakistan. However, there is already an Indian Navy on deputation at US Central Command. Pakistan comes under its range.
The meeting is going to be held despite the Coronavirus pandemic. There are chances of the virtual meetings of the leaders but there are clear advantages of both the leaders of the side of meeting face to face. Also, both sides wanted the meeting to be held, despite COVID 19, as the meeting is the symbol of growing bilateral relations.