India-US sign important defense deal amidst ongoing tension with China

India and the United States on Tuesday signed an important defense agreement that would allow state-of-the-art military technology, satellite confidential data and critical information sharing between the two countries. The signing of the ‘Basic Exchange and Co-operation Agreement’ (BECA) between the two strategic partners during the third phase of the ‘Two plus two’ talks indicated further intensification of bilateral defense and military ties. This agreement has come at a time when India’s deadlock with China is going on in East Ladakh. Also Read – ‘Strengthening US-India relations will be priority of Biden administration’

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Minister Mark T Asper. The top military and defense officials of both the sides supported it. In the ‘Two Plus Two’ talks, the two sides discussed the broad issues of mutual interest in the Indo-Pacific region to further and close the already established close relations between the two countries. Also Read – India said supply of Hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol continues after Donald Trump’s threat

Four important agreements between the two countries were finalized with the signing of ‘BECA’, important for expanding strategic relations. The two countries signed the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002.

The US gave India the status of a ‘major defense partner’ in 2016 as part of an important step in the defense agreement and technology sharing. The two countries signed the Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in 2016. India and America had signed another important agreement in 2018 called ‘Komkasa’.

Regarding BECA, the officials said that the agreement will give access to information regarding India’s confidential geostatistical data as well as other military applications.

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Kim Diaz

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