US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday departed from New Delhi after the conclusion of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between India and the United States. In a tweet, Pompeo stated that his visit to New Delhi was productive and that he was even more optimistic about future achievements.
“My visit to New Delhi was productive. @DeptofDefense Secretary @EsperDoD, and I co-hosted the third U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial with Ministers @DrSJaishankar and @rajnathsingh. As I depart India, I’m even more optimistic about what we will accomplish together,” tweeted Pompeo. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and US Defence Secretary Mark T Esper took part in the third 2+2 dialogue between the two countries.
The ministers welcomed efforts to rejuvenate and expand bilateral India-US trade in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, they noted ongoing discussions by the United States Trade Representative and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry to reach an understanding on improving market access, removing barriers to trade, and improving the business environment. India and US also signed five key agreements during the 2+2 dialogue including Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) which will allow India real-time access to precision data and topographical images from the United States military satellites.
A joint statement on the dialogue applauded the significant step of the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) and welcomed enhanced maritime information sharing and maritime domain awareness between their navies and affirmed their commitment to build upon existing defence information-sharing at the joint-service and service-to-service levels and explore potential new areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. During the dialogue, the ministers of the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to deepening bilateral defence consultation and collaboration and to exploring opportunities to expand cooperative capacity-building efforts with partners across the region.
They also affirmed their commitment to pursue increased cooperation between the Indian military and US Central Command and Africa Command, including broader participation in exercises and conferences, so as to promote shared security interests. They also welcomed the inclusion of the Royal Australian Navy in the US-India-Japan MALABAR Naval Exercise scheduled to be held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea in November 2020.
The United States looks forward to hosting the next 2+2 Ministerial in 2021.