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Indian and Australian defence ministers evaluate strategic challenges

Rajnath Singh Edited

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held bilateral discussions with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, who can be defence minister, in Delhi on Wednesday.

The two ministers “reviewed strategic challenges and the regional security situation and reaffirmed their shared objective of an open, free, inclusive, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region,” a joint assertion mentioned.

“They looked forward to India’s participation in Australia’s Indo Pacific Endeavour exercise in October 2022,” the assertion mentioned.

Marles is on a four-day go to to India. The two leaders reviewed the defence cooperation actions, “which have been increasing despite challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and discussed ways to enhance further cooperation”.

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India and Australia are two of the 4 members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, together with the United States of America and Japan. The 4 nations are additionally common contributors within the Malabar wargaming naval train.

Singh and Marles “reviewed the defence and security pillars of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” and “reaffirmed their commitment towards implementation of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership based on mutual trust and understanding, common interests and shared values of democracy and rule of law.”

The assertion mentioned they welcomed the “growing diversity and frequency of defence exercises and exchanges between the two countries and undertook to build upon operational engagements through the India-Australia Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement.”

Further, the assertion mentioned the 2 ministers “committed to give a fillip to the India-Australia Joint Working Group (JWG) on defence research and materiel cooperation, which will meet in Australia later this year.”

The JWG is a “crucial mechanism for boosting ties between defence industries,” in keeping with the assertion.

They additionally mentioned alternatives for industrial cooperation between India and Australia to extend the resilience of provide chains and ship capabilities to their respective defence forces, and in addition agreed to discover means to extend connections and alternatives between Indian and Australian defence industrial bases.

During the digital summit between the prime ministers of the 2 nations in March, a younger officer alternate programme named after India’s first chief of defence workers, General Bipin Rawat—who died in a helicopter crash in December—was introduced.

The two defence ministers “welcomed the plan to commence the landmark General Rawat Young Officer Exchange Programme in the latter half of 2022,” the joint assertion mentioned.
Marles visited the Goa Shipyard Limited on Tuesday and noticed a show of India’s rising prowess in indigenous drone improvement and autonomous car know-how.


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