Two US secretaries arrive India
Published: 10:14 PM, 26 October 2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper arrived in India on Monday to attend the third round of talks to reduce China's influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
The two-day visit comes at a time when India is engaged in a bitter border standoff with China, with Pompeo indicating earlier that the dialogue is expected to focus on the "threats" posed by Beijing.
India and the US on Tuesday will sign the last foundational agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) during the 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
After bilateral talks between Rajnath Singh and Mark Esper, Indian defense ministry said, “The two Ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit.”
The two Ministers reviewed bilateral defense cooperation spanning “military-to-military cooperation, secure communication systems and information sharing, defense trade and industrial issues” and also discussed ways to take bilateral cooperation forward, the statement said. Stating that they discussed potential new areas of cooperation both at the Service-to-Service-level and the joint-level, the ministry stated.
Analysts say, the trip is a part of the latest US effort bolster allies against an increasingly assertive China, which has been making political and military inroads across Asia.