US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Esper arrived India on Monday for a two-day visit . The visit comes a week ahead of the US presidential election on November 3.
The talks are taking place at a time India is engaged in a bitter border row with China, and the issue is expected to figure in the deliberations.
The holding of the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue demonstrates the high-level commitment between the two countries, which share diplomatic and security objectives, US State Department said on Sunday. "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 tweeted.
The India-US 2+2 talks will focus on four themes -- regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interaction, and defence trade, said the US State Department on Friday. The first two 2+2 Ministerial dialogues had been held in New Delhi in September 2018 and Washington DC in 2019.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his US counterpart Mark T Esper held extensive talks on Monday, covering various aspects of fast expanding defence and strategic ties, including ways to further deepen military-to-military cooperation, between the two countries.It is expected that the two sides may finalise the long-pending BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement to further boost bilateral defence ties. The BECA will provide for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries.