Both the countries have been in discussions for an early conclusion of the agreement.
The annual 2+2 dialogue between India and the US which was to be held this month appears unlikely due to scheduling issues. Highly placed sources confirmed to Financial Express Online that “The first-ever 2+2 dialogue between the two countries had taken place in New Delhi last September. This year the dialogues were likely to take place in the US, however, due to scheduling issues on both sides, the dialogue is now expected to take place later this year or early next year.”
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“When the dialogue takes place the two pending major agreements Industrial Security Annex and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) are ready to be inked. The Industrial Security Annex is already vetted and has just to be signed by both sides,” sources added.
Under the Industrial Security Annex, transfer of defense technology will be permissible. The US has such an agreement with other countries, for India, this will be the first time ever. In an effort to allow transfer of technology (TOT) which would be needed if the production lines for US fighter jets are set up in India or other defense joint ventures, the US through this agreement seeks guarantees for the protection of both classified technology and information.
Sources also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with the US President Donald Trump on Sept 27, on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.
The BECA agreement allows the exchange of geospatial information between India and the US for both military and civilian use. Both the countries have been in discussions for an early conclusion of the agreement. As has been reported earlier, the BECA agreement has been pending for a while as New Delhi was seeking India specific assurances from the US. “This agreement wills layout the protocols which allow the sharing of mapping and other geospatial data securely between the two sides,” explained a senior officer.
In fact, it was on the agenda of talks when the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in New Delhi ahead of the G-20 summit in Osaka.
Both countries have already in 2002 inked General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016. As a step forward in the bilateral relations, under the LEMOA agreement, both sides can use the land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply. In 2018, foundational agreement to help in facilitating closer defense cooperation the two signed Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). This agreement will help India to import US systems, without any limitations on guidance, communication, and sensor technologies.