Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, on October 12, participated in the opening of fourth India-US Forum. Biegun, who arrived in India on October 12, is scheduled to stay for three days before travelling to Bangladesh. With his visit, Biegun aims to enhance the US-India Comprehensive global Strategic partnership, ANI reported.
Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla participated alongwith U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun in the opening session of the 4th India-US Forum @USAmbIndia @State_SCA @IndianEmbassyUS pic.twitter.com/V8Hlt7vhIk— Anurag Srivastava (@MEAIndia) October 12, 2020
Biegun was also welcomed by the American ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster who took to Twitter to write, “I am looking forward to productive meetings over the next few days.” Over the course of his visit, the deputy secretary is scheduled to meet Indian government officials and deliver keynote remarks at the India-US forum. His visit also aims at advancing bilateral ties between both the countries, a statement released by the US Department of States said. In addition, it will also help both the countries in advancing their peace, prosperity and security in the Ind Pacific region.
The visit comes days before the third India-US two plus two dialogue scheduled to take place in New Delhi. At the meet, Modi government is likely to ink the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation. The signing of BECA will be a very significant development as it allows India to use global geospatial maps of the US for accuracy of stand-off weapons like cruise and ballistic missiles.
The foundational agreements with the US are already in place and mutual relations have seen fruition over the years. In particular, with agreements such as General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA, 2002), Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA, 2016) and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA, 2018) have already been activated with both using each other’s designated military facilities for refuelling and replenishment. The communication agreement allows both countries to share military information about threats on land and the Indo-Pacific. Image: MEAIndia/Twitter