Amid ongoing military standoff and border tensions between India and China, the United States today assured that it is always ready to help India “safeguard its sovereignty and integrity”.
India and the United States today signed a key defence agreement, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), giving a new dimension to their bilateral relations.
The agreement is seen as important in light of the ongoing military tensions between India and China over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) for more than six months.
Addressing a joint press conference after the signing of the BECA agreement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured India of their continued support in its efforts to “safeguard India’s sovereignty”.
He said that the US always stands by India in dealing with any threat pose and there will be no change in America’s position.
Note that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Mark Asper were in Delhi for an annual 2 + 2 ministerial meeting with India.
They discussed bilateral cooperation with Indian Foreign Minister Subramanian J. Shankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh as well as various issues of regional and global importance.
The US ministers also met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Dobhal.
India will now have access to US satellite data and India will be able to use US geo-special maps. This will increase the ability to hit other weapons, including automated hardware systems and cruise ballistic missiles.
The agreement comes, when India is considering buying 30 General Atomics MQ-9 Guardian drones from the United States.
India and the United States have already exchanged intelligence. During tensions with China in Doklam in 2017, the United States allegedly provided intelligence to the Indian military about the movements of Chinese troops.