Wheels up for my trip to India says Pompeo: At 2+2 meet China, intel sharing on the cards
New Delhi, Oct 26: US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has left for India to take part in the 2+2 meeting.
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," Pompeo said in a tweet.
The third 2+2 meeting between the India and United States would be a crucial one as the two sides will discuss a host of issues of strategic importance US state secretary Mike Pompeo and defence chief, Mike Esper are travelling to New Delhi for a day-long in person meetings with their Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh.
During the meeting, India would cover increased share of intelligence. The two sides are likely t work out an agreement that would allow the institutionalised relationship between the Defence Intelligence Agencies of both sides.
India and the US already share real time intelligence through COMCASA. The new pact on the other hand would allow others sides to share vital tri-services intelligence on all defence matters. This would be particularly important in the context of the developments at Ladakh and the South China Sea. During the meeting both sides would also discuss the Chinese aggression in Ladakh
Further both sides will sign off on a geo spatial military foundation agreement called Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). This would be a pre-cursor for India to acquire drones such as the MQ-9B from the US. These use spatial data for pinpointed strikes.
The meetings would be important in the wake of the tensions with China. Esper said that it is the world's largest democracy, a very capable country with very talented people, and they face off, every day, Chinese aggression in the Himalayas.
India will be the most consequential partner for us, in the Indo-Pacific for us for sure in this century. He also said that his visit is part of a broader US initiative to strengthen older alliance and develop new ones against Russian and Chinese efforts to build their own global power networks.
This is the third edition of the meeting. The first one was hosted in 2018 by India, while the second one was hosted in the US in 2019.