India and US can cooperate on defeating the pandemic that originated from Wuhan and confront the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to the security and freedom in the region, said US Secretary Mike Pompeo here on Tuesday.
Speaking during the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue here, Pompeo said, "Today is real opportunity for two great democracies like ours to grow closer, as I said on my trip to India last year when I called for a new age of ambition in our relationship. I think we've delivered on that over this past year. There is much more work to do for sure."
"We have a lot to discuss today, from cooperating on defeating the pandemic that originated in Wuhan, to confronting the Chinese Communist Party's threats to security and freedom, to promoting peace and stability throughout the region," he added.
Pompeo further said two countries are building a better future based on a shared set of values and cultures.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said both countries must focus on institutionalising cooperation to meet the challenges of the day and uphold the principles of a free and open India-Pacific.
"We have strengthened our defense and security partnership considerably since then, especially over the past year, during which we advanced our regional security, military-to-military, and information-sharing cooperation. Our focus now must be on institutionalising and regularising our cooperation to meet the challenges of the day and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific well into the future," Esper said.
The Indian Defence Ministry on Monday had announced that the two sides will sign the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) that would enhance the geospatial cooperation between them and it is likely to help in improving the accuracy of missile systems of India.
On Monday, the two US secretaries held separate talks with Indian counterparts -- S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh.
The Indian Defence Ministry announced following the meeting between Esper and Singh that "the two Ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit."
( With inputs from ANI )
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