New Delhi: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence secretary Mark Esper will take part in the third 2+2 ministerial dialogue on Tuesday which is aimed at discussing regional security cooperation between India and US. The 2+2 inter-ministerial talks are scheduled to be held at 10 am today.
The meet is going to be the most significant diplomatic engagement in Delhi amid the Chinese aggressiveness, not only with India but with other countries in the region.
Mike Pompeo along with Mark Esper arrived in New Delhi on Monday for talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had around two-hour-long bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday in which they discussed Indo-Pacific, the situation in Afghanistan, and a follow up on their Tokyo discussions earlier this month.
On Tuesday, both the US leaders would visit the war memorial and lay wreaths in honour of the soldiers. Later the two visiting Secretaries will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence.
After the meeting, the US officials will leave for Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia.
On Monday, the Indian Defence Ministry announced that the two sides will sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) that would enhance the geospatial cooperation between them and it is likely to help in improving the accuracy of missile systems of India. It is the last of the 4 foundational agreement and will allow for expanded geospatial information sharing between American and Indian armed forces.
The Indian Defence Ministry announced following the meeting between Esper and Singh that “the two Ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit.”
In terms of defence and security, both countries have expanded cooperation. Earlier this year in July, Indian Navy and UN Navy’s Nimitz undertook passing exercises in the Bay of Bengal.
The visit comes just a week before the US goes to election on 3rd November. Indian diaspora over the years has increased role in the country’s political process. Diaspora stands 4 million strong, with approximately 200,000 Indian students in American universities.
Last 2 years saw 2 major events, the Howdy Modi event in Houston with participation of 50,000 Indian Americans and Namaste Trump event in Gujarat. Events, who many saw a celebration of close people to people ties between the 2 countries.