India, US clinch defence pact on satellite data

Clay Curtis
October 27, 2020

Washington, for its part, has also ramped the diplomatic pressure on China, as ties worsen over a range of issues from Beijing's handling of the coronavirus to its imposition of a new security law in Hong Kong and ambitions in the South China Sea.

"We are happy that we've completed the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement), which will open new avenues in the information sharing".

The US officials will then proceed to Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia.

The talks between Pompeo and Jaishankar were "warm and productive", a person privy to the talks said. Sources said on Monday, they followed up on their Tokyo discussions and focussed on key bilateral, regional and global issues.

Jaishankar tweeted after his talks with Pompeo that relations between the emerging allies have "grown substantially in every domain". Our foreign policy consultations and cooperation have expanded. Pompeo tweeted ahead of the Dialogue.

- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touched down in New Delhi Monday, the first stop on his Asia tour, which is aimed at strengthening ties in the face of growing Chinese influence across the region.

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India's arch-rival neighbor was not mentioned publicly after Monday's meetings but the United States statement said Esper and Singh "agreed to continue to work in partnership to address pressing global security challenges".

The agenda for the dialogues include regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions and defence trade.

"Both the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the close engagements between the respective Armed Forces". Defence trade and industrial issues were also discussed to take bilateral cooperation forward between the two countries.

They also discussed requirements of expanding deployments of liaison officers in each other " s facilities.

India has also since agreed to expand naval maneuvers in the Indian Ocean in November to include Australia. Singh further elaborated upon the initiatives under the Atmanirbhar Bharat to encourage investments in the defence ministry and invited USA companies to avail "liberalised policies and favourable defence industry ecosystem in India".

It will also allow the U.S. to provide the latest navigational technology on any fighter jets it supplies to 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.

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