India-US 2 plus 2 on Oct 26-27 geospatial pact BECA to be signed

A two-plus-two dialogue between India and the US is expected on 26 and 27 October. The Narendra Modi government is ready for the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA) to attend this meeting. The last of the four military communications fundamental agreements, BECA is an important precursor of India, which acquires armed drones such as the MQ-9B from the US because unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) use pinpoint strike data at enemy targets.

The Indo-US talks at the Ministry of External Affairs this month will extend with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar after meeting his US counterpart Mike Pompeo at the Quad Security Dialogue in Tokyo on 6 October. In mid-October Stephen Begun and finally US Defense Minister Mark Osho and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will engage in two-plus-two talks with the two foreign ministers.

The dates for these meetings are being finalized. The signing of the BECA will be a very important step as it allows India to use global geospatial maps of the US for the accuracy of stand-off weapons such as cruise and ballistic missiles. Already, the two countries have activated all three basic agreements with the two, using each other’s designated military facilities for refueling and replenishment. The communication agreement allows both countries to share military information about threats to the land and the Indo-Pacific.

During the two-plus-two meetings, the two US ministers will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. These meetings will be addressed by the Defense and Foreign Ministers. Chinese aggression in Ladakh and the South China Sea will be discussed in detail sharing their assessment with both sides. The way the People’s Liberation Army continues to aggressively attack Taiwan in the South China Sea is showing no intention of pulling down from the Ladakh region, despite talking about disagreements and de-escalation.

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