India Signs Landmark Defence Pact with the US amidst Fragile Security Situation in the Region

India

India and the United States concluded the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between defence and foreign ministers to cement bilateral relations and cooperation on multilateral fora. The first dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018, while the second one was in Washington in 2019.

India and the United States on Tuesday signed two landmark defence pacts in New Delhi at the end of the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. The first deal was the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.

BECA allows the US to share satellite and other surveillance data to improve India’s navigation and targeting capabilities. It would improve the accuracy of India’s automated hardware systems and weapons like cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones.

Addressing media after the Dialogue, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T. Esper said Washington would stand with New Delhi to deal with growing security challenges in the region.

The statement comes amid a bitter border dispute between India and China in the Ladakh region. 

The border tension erupted into a violent clash in mid-June, killing 20 Indian soldiers and forcing New Delhi to move more troops and military assets closer to the disputed border.

Taking on China, the US Secretary of State said the Coronavirus pandemic that “came from…

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