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To explore new initiatives to expand India-Australia bilateral defense ties

To explore new initiatives to expand India-Australia bilateral defense ties

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his visiting Australian counterpart Richard Marles will explore new initiatives to further expand bilateral defense ties in their talks on Wednesday.

The Defense Ministry said that the two ministers will also exchange views on regional and global issues of common interest.

It said the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is based on a shared vision of a “free, open, inclusive and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.

Marles’ visit is the first high-level visit from Australia to India since Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party came to power after defeating predecessor Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition in parliamentary elections last month.

Marles, who is also Australia’s deputy prime minister, began his four-day visit to India on Monday.

“The two ministers will review defense cooperation between the two countries and explore new initiatives to further strengthen bilateral ties,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. They will also exchange views on regional and global issues of common interest. will do.”

Marles visited Goa Shipyard Limited in Goa.

The Defense Ministry said, “India and Australia share a comprehensive strategic partnership since June 2020 and defense is a key pillar of this partnership. This partnership is based on a shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”

“The two democracies have common interests in the peace and prosperity of the entire region,” it said in a statement.

The Deputy Prime Minister also participated in a yoga session on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.

He tweeted, “Before a busy few days in India, the morning begins with some yoga. For a few days, looking forward to meeting my counterparts and witnessing our close partnership.”

In his response on Twitter, Sing said: “Glad to see Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Australia, @RichardMarlesMP performing yoga on #InternationalDayofYoga.”

Singh said, “Her participation in the Yoga Day program makes these celebrations remarkable and special. Looking forward to meeting her in New Delhi.”

On Monday, Marles described India as one of Australia’s “closest” security partners and said Canberra is keen to work closely with it for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

Relations between India and Australia have strengthened over the years.

In April, the two countries signed a trade agreement to diversify bilateral trade.

In June 2020, India and Australia extended their ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and signed a landmark agreement for mutual access to military bases for logistical support.

The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows the armies of the two countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides enhancing overall defense cooperation.

The Australian Navy was part of the Malabar naval exercise conducted by India in November 2020 as well as last year.

(PTI)


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