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General Naravane speaks to US Army chief on Covid situation, expanding military cooperation

General Naravane and General McConville discussed issues of bilateral defence cooperation and deliberated on effectively dealing with the pandemic, officials said.

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New Delhi: Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane held a telephonic conversation with his American counterpart Gen James C McConville on Tuesday, focusing on bilateral military cooperation as well as effectively dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said Gen Naravane and Gen McConville discussed ways to expand cooperation between the two armies in specific areas in view of the evolving regional security scenario.

They also deliberated on effectively dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“General MM Naravane #COAS had telephonic interaction with General James C. McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army #USArmy on Tuesday and discussed issues of bilateral defence cooperation,” the Indian Army said in a tweet.

The Indo-US defence ties have been on an upswing in the last few years.

In October last year, India and the US sealed the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement to further boost bilateral defence ties. The pact provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries.

The firming up of the BECA came two years after the two countries signed another pact called COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) that provides for interoperability between the two militaries and provides for sale of high end technology from the US to India.

In June 2016, the US had designated India a “Major Defence Partner” intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

The two countries had also signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 that allows their militaries use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies as well as provides for deeper cooperation.

Also read: Army chief Naravane visits eastern Ladakh, Siachen, reviews operational preparedness


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