U.S., India will ‘probably’, ‘certainly’ discuss LAC situation: Senior U.S. Official

By The Hindu

A senior State Department official said the India-China situation along the Line of Actual Control will “certainly” and “probably” be discussed when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper meet External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi next week for the third edition of the 2+2 ministerial.

“Certainly, I think the situation on the Line of Actual Control will be – will probably be discussed at some point, and we’re watching the situation closely. I think both sides have expressed a desire to de-escalate violence,” Deputy Assistant Secretary David Thompson told reporters on a briefing call on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Thompson said that the two U.S. secretaries would also meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss ways to advance the U.S.- India partnership (officially known as a “Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership”).

He did not confirm whether BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) –a geospatial cooperation agreements between the U.S. and India – would be signed at the 2+2 meeting.

“We’re in the process of finalizing a lot of the discussions right now, and so I know that BECA and other agreements are in the works,” Mr. Thompson said in response to a question on BECA and a maritime information sharing agreement between the two countries.

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