India-US 2+2 dialogue
2+2 dialogue mechanism is an official format of dialogue where participants are the defence and foreign ministers or secretaries with their counterparts from both participating countries. The goal of 2+2 Ministerial dialogues is to facilitate the highest-level dialogue on the bilateral, regional, and global issues between countries.
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India holds such talks at the foreign secretary and defence secretary level with Australia but with Japan and the US, these talks were held at the ministerial level.
- 1st 2+2 dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018.
- In December 2019, the United States hosted the second 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington.
- India will host the third edition of 2+2 ministerial dialogue with the US.
In the upcoming 3rd dialogue, India and the US are expected to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geospatial cooperation.
It will be the 3rd foundational agreement after Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement.
Significance of the 3rd India US 2+2 dialogue
Present visit of Mark Pompeo in the backdrop of recent tensions with China is very important for India on 3 fronts: the LAC, in the maritime sphere, and in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
- Indo-Pacific– On the maritime sphere, discussions will include strengthening ties in the Indo-Pacific region and also include discussions on how free nations can work together to thwart the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party.
- BECA Agreement – The U.S. wants India to sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA), at the India-U.S. 2+2 ministerial dialogue.
- This agreement would facilitate exchange of geospatial information between India and United States for both military and civilian use.
- LAC front– US could agree to keep the pressure on Pakistan on terrorism, despite the US need for Pakistan’s assistance in Afghan-Taliban talks.
- SAARC– On the SAARC region Pompeo from US will also be visiting Male and Colombo, it would be significant in reducing the influence of China in these countries.