Amid rising tensions with China, India-US 2+2 meet to be held in Delhi on October 27

The third India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue will likely be held in New Delhi on October 27, 2020. India will likely be internet hosting the meet.

“US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark T Esper will be visiting India on 26-27 October 2020 to participate in the Dialogue. From the Indian side, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar will lead the delegations from the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs, respectively,” mentioned a press launch issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

According to the US State Department, Secretary Pompeo will likely be on a four-nation tour – India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia between October 25 and 30.

The thrust of the go to of the 2 high US officers will likely be to strengthen strategic partnerships.

In addition, sources instructed India Today that amid rising tensions on the India-China border, India is more likely to signal the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial cooperation with the United States.

This would be the third foundational settlement to be signed between India and the US after the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

“We are hoping to sign the BECA during the meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper and their Indian counterparts including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The agreement will ensure that the armed forces of the two countries start talking to each other on enhancing geospatial cooperation,” high authorities sources instructed India Today.

The focus of the 2 counties would definitely be China and methods to include rising Chinese aggression within the area. The goal is to advance US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and “expand cooperation to promote stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world,” mentioned a press launch by the US State Department.

During a press interplay on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned, “I’m especially looking forward to doing that with Secretary Esper in our two plus two ministerial dialogue with our Indian friends. It’s been postponed because of the virus and glad we’re going to be able to execute that in person here in just a few days. I’m sure that my meetings would also include discussions on how free nations can work together against the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

In order to underscore the dedication for a “free and open Indo-Pacific region”, Pompeo will interact “a strong, sovereign Sri Lanka”.

In Malé, Secretary Pompeo will advance partnership on points starting from regional maritime safety to the combat in opposition to terrorism.

In Jakarta, he’ll reiterate the 2 nations’ imaginative and prescient of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, in his interplay on the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, talked about how India has been standing as much as Chinese belligerence when he mentioned, “India will be the most consequential partner for us, in the Indo-Pacific for sure in this century. It’s the world’s largest democracy, a very capable country, very talented people and they face off every day Chinese aggression in the Himalayas, specifically along that Line of Actual Control.”

“It’s not an issue about China’s rise. It’s how they rise… So you see a lot more closer collaboration come out and this will be reflected in our meetings next week in New Delhi as well when we travel there,” he added.

Responding to questions on agreements to be signed, Esper mentioned, “We will give information on that when it is appropriate.”

The first two 2+2 Ministerial dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018 adopted by one other in Washington DC in 2019. “The agenda for the third Dialogue will cover all bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” mentioned MEA.

(With inputs from Manjeet Negi)

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