Australia and India increase naval co-operation

The second Australia-India Defence Minister’s dialogue concluded in New Delhi on 2 September 2015. The meet was chaired by visiting Australian Minister of Defence Kevin Andrews and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The meeting was followed by a delegation level talk to discuss issues of shared strategic interest and the current state of the bilateral defence relationship between the two countries. After the talks the two sides issued the following joint statement.

Key points of the Joint Statement

• The Ministers affirmed their desire to continue to broaden and deepen the bilateral defence relationship based on shared strategic interests and to implement the action plan outlined in the Framework for Security Cooperation agreed to by the Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Tony Abbott on 18 November 2014.

• The Ministers also discussed the centenary of the First World War and recalled the contribution made by the Indian and ANZAC forces during the Gallipoli campaign.

• Given both nations’ interest in the Indian Ocean and its vital importance to regional and global trade, the Ministers acknowledged the importance of freedom of maritime navigation and agreed that maritime security should remain a key component of the bilateral defence relationship.

• Australia and India agreed to continue to cooperate through joint work as part of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus construct.

• The Ministers also agreed to continue enhancing relationship between Indian and Australian navies, through bilateral ship visits, exchanges as also through Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and such other fora.

• The first Navy-to-Navy Bilateral Maritime Exercise will be held by end of September 2015 to foster greater interoperability and cooperation between both nations and further contribute to maritime security.

• Royal Australian Navy participation in the Indian Navy International Fleet Review in February 2016 and the continuation of the Bilateral Maritime Exercise on a biennial basis.

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