The third edition of the 2+2 dialogue between India and USA is set to begin as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper are on their way to New Delhi.
Ahead of the important talks, the US State Department said the country welcomes India’s emergence as a leading regional and global power.
“As outlined in our National Security Strategy, the United States welcomes India’s emergence as a leading regional and global power. The United States looks forward to collaborating closely with India during its upcoming term on the UN Security Council,” the US said, reported NDTV.
“Wheels up for my trip to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia. Grateful for the opportunity to connect with our partners to promote a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific composed of independent, strong, and prosperous nations,” Mike Pompeo tweeted last night.
Wheels up for my trip to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia. Grateful for the opportunity to connect with our partners to promote a shared vision for a free and open #IndoPacific composed of independent, strong, and prosperous nations. pic.twitter.com/IoaJvtsHZC
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 25, 2020
The top US leaders will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold discussions with other government and business leaders on ways to advance the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, the State Department said.
US said that the subjects to be covered included regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions and defence trade.
“We have made significant progress towards concluding the last foundational defence enabling agreement – the Exchange and Cooperation Agreement or BECA,” senior officials of the Trump administration said last week in an online news briefing.
“This agreement will allow for expanded geospatial information sharing between our armed forces. We are also seeking to expand secure communication capabilities between our respective militaries as well as between our foreign defence ministries and that figures prominently in what we are trying to accomplish in the information-sharing space,” they added.
The relations between US and India have been strengthening in last few months as the Quadrilateral grouping of US, Japan, India and Australia are sending their warships for the Malabar Exercise next month.
Quadrilateral grouping, which experts say is to be mirroring NATO, has already been criticized by China many times.
In another major development in direction of strengthening the ties, New Delhi and Washington are also stepping up efforts to conclude the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) ahead of the Indo-US 2+2 ministerial meeting on October 26-27.