India and the US defence relationship will be further strengthened when they hold two plus two ministerial dialogue later this year

When India and the US hold two plus two ministerial dialogue later this year, the two sides are likely to discuss the long pending Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), the third foundational security pact that aims to bring the armed forces of the two countries close to each other.

If this pact is signed, it will give a boost to the country’s defence system by giving it cutting-edge weapons and communications systems from the US, The Sunday Guardian reports.

This will be the third defence pact between the two countries. India and the US have already signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).

BECA will allow India to use the US expertise on geospatial intelligence and enhance military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons like cruise, ballistic missiles and drones.

The issue was raised at the previous 2+2 dialogue which was held in Washington in December last year. The two countries signed the Industrial Security Annex, however, BECA could not be signed. The BECA was again raised in March this year in Washington followed by the US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in February.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla recently held virtual talks with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relationship between the two countries to ensure a free, open, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

Read the full report in The Sunday Guardian