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Third India- USA 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi on Oct 27, 2020;Signed BECA & 4 other MoU’s

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Third India- USA 2+2 dialogue in New DelhiOn October 27, 2020, India hosted the third India-United States (US) 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi where India side was represented by Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and the US side was represented by Secretary of State Michael Richard Pompeo also known as Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Thomas Esper. The agenda for this covered all bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

  • Notably Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper arrived in New Delhi on October 26, 2020 for a two-day visit to attend the dialogue and also to hold bilateral talks with their Indian counterparts and to meet National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A joint statement has been launched covering the following key information of 3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue:

India, U.S sign five agreements including ‘Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement’

During the dialogue India-US inked five agreements which are as follows:

Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)

India signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) information with the United States (US) for sharing of high-end military technology, classified satellite data and critical information.

  • The MoU was signed between the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Department of Defense of United Sates of America.
  • This MoU will help India to get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
  • Notably, India and the US have already signed three key foundational agreements on this line viz. General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018.

MoU on Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences

The MoU for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observation and Earth Sciences was signed between the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences for developing a better understanding of regional and global weather origins in the Indian Ocean and advancing common research goals in meteorology, oceanography, and management of living marine resources.

Agreement to extend duration of Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership signed

Both nations agreed for the extension of the MoU between the US Government and the Government of India concerning cooperation with India’s Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP).

  • The GCNEP is a research and development institute in Haryana under the aegis of the Department of Atomic Energy. India and the US share robust cooperation in the areas of defence, space and nuclear.

MoU on electronic exchange of customs data related to postal shipments

Department of Posts, Government of India (India Post) and United States Postal Service (USPS) have inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Electronic Exchange of Customs data related to postal shipments.

  • This MoU enables Exchange of Electronic Advance Data (EAD) transmitting and receiving of electronic data of international postal items prior to their physical arrival at the destination resulting in customs clearance of postal items in advance.Click here to read more.

LoI regarding cooperation in traditional Indian medicines

A Letter of Intent (LoI) was also signed between the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine,National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Indian Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Ministry of AYUSH for cooperation in the field of Ayurveda and Cancer Research.

–ISRO-NASA satellite NISAR scheduled to be launched by 2022

Under the ongoing collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite is scheduled to be launched by 2022.

  • Both sides are also forward to sharing Space Situational Awareness information to create a safe, stable, and sustainable space environment.
  • They also expressed the intent to continue the U.S.-India Space Dialogue as well as discussions on areas of potential space defense cooperation.

–India, US vow to deepen cooperation in jointly combating COVID-19

India and the US vowed to deepen collaboration in combating COVID-19 by strengthening cooperation in the development of vaccines, diagnostics, ventilators and other essential medical equipment.

  • India appreciated the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the 200 ventilators provided to the Indian Red Cross Society, while the US side hailed India’s export of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), essential medicines, and therapeutics to America.

Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper met PM Narendra Modi in Delhi

Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper met Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi after the third 2+2 ministerial dialogue between the two countries in Delhi. The Secretaries briefed the PM on their bilateral conveyed the U.S. Government’s continued interest in building stronger relations with India and working together to realize the shared vision and goals.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh holds talks with his US counterpart

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his US counterpart Mark T Esper held extensive talks in New Delhi covering various aspects of fast expanding defence and strategic ties, including ways to further deepen military-to-military cooperation between the two countries.

The next meet will be hosted by the US in 2021.

Recent Related News:

i.On September 11, 2020, India-United States (US) 2+2 Inter-sessional Meeting was held virtually to discuss bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues including combating COVID-19, counter terrorism, India’s membership on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), efforts to counteract recent destabilizing actions in South Asia, and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

ii.On 17th August, 2020 13th Session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation was held virtually.The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates.

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