New Delhi: The United States will soon sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) with India. This will further strengthen the defence related cooperation between the two countries. Indian Defence Secretary Sanjay Mishra and US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, John Rood, held discussions on the subject in August. Thereafter, the decks have been cleared for signing the agreement.
Earlier, the United States and India signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). Therefore, India and the United States can use each other’s military bases if need be. At the same time, the United States can supply super-advanced defence technology to India. The BECA is looked at as the next phase of the defence cooperation. BECA is considered very important for effective implementation of the LEMOA and COMCASA. The United States had presented this proposal some time back.
However, India had clarified that the US Proposal had some issues, detrimental to the Indian national security. India had communicated its concerns to the United States. Thereafter, the United States expressed willingness to make the necessary changes and the process for signing the agreement was set rolling. Two Plus Two talks were held between India and the United States in September, last year. BECA was one of the issues discussed between the Foreign and Defence ministers of the two countries. Both India and the United States had said that the agreement will be signed during the next discussions.
The Two Plus Two talks for this year will be held soon. Although the dates have not been finalised, the preparations are visible on both sides. Therefore, the media claim that BECA will be signed soon. An Indian delegation visited the United States in August. Indian Defence Secretary Sanjay Mishra and US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, John Rood held detailed discussions on the subject. Therefore, it is firmly believed that BECA will be signed between the two countries.
BECA will provide India an access to the sensitive and super-advanced US technology. India will also have access to the confidential defence information available with the United States. The United States may start supply of drone technology, cruise and ballistic missiles and the spares necessary for them. This agreement will ease the process of starting joint projects for manufacture of weapons and other defence equipment. Nevertheless, the United States has been making strong efforts to get it signed.