On October 26, the Indian Defence Ministry confirmed that India and US will sign the last foundation agreement which is Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial cooperation (BECA). The decision was taken during the 2+2 ministerial meeting on October 27.
US Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State arrived in New Delhi on October 26 for 2+2 meeting
For the 2+2 meeting between India and US, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived at the national capital of India, New Delhi on October 26. The defence ministry in its statement expressed that both the ministers expressed satisfaction on the agreement of BECA will be signed during the 2+2 meeting in New Delhi. The statement was released after bilateral talks between Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper.
Discussion to be about bilateral cooperation, information sharing and military-to-military interactions
During the bilateral talks, the two counterparts discussed and reviewed the defence cooperation which span military to military cooperation, secure communication systems, information sharing, defence trade and industrial issues. They also discussed the ways that can take bilateral cooperation between India and US forward and potential new areas of cooperation both at the service-to-service level and the joint level, Defence Ministry stated.
Between India and US, a maritime information agreement is also under discussion. India already has this type of agreement with other quad countries, which are Australia and Japan. At 2+2 meeting, US would be keen on India signing BECA and also carry out discussions to iron out the major differences between both the countries. One of the biggest difference is the issue of reciprocity in exchange of geo-spatial data. As reported by US State Department, the 2+2 meeting will focus on four matters- regional security cooperation, military-to-military interactions, information sharing and defence trade.