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21/11/23 | 9:25 am

India, Australia bolster defence cooperation during 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

As part of the India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles held a bilateral meeting on Monday, reaffirming their commitment to strengthening the defence relations between the two nations.

The ministers expressed satisfaction with the increasing military-to-military cooperation, citing joint exercises, exchanges, and institutional dialogues as pivotal elements in cementing the bond between India and Australia. Singh congratulated Marles on the successful execution of the multilateral exercise 'Malabar' by Australia in August.

Both parties emphasized the necessity to bolster cooperation in information exchange and maritime domain awareness, with advanced discussions on hydrography cooperation and air-to-air refueling arrangements. Union Minister Singh underscored the significance of collaboration in specialized training areas, including artificial intelligence, anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare, and the cyber domain, signalling a proactive approach to addressing security challenges.

The ministers delved into discussions on deepening cooperation in the defence industry and research, identifying shipbuilding, ship repair, aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), and joint research in underwater technologies as potential collaborative areas. Exploration of collaboration between defence start-ups from both countries took place, with a focus on jointly addressing challenges in the evolving security landscape.

Both ministers agreed that a robust India-Australia defence partnership not only benefits both nations mutually but also significantly contributes to the overall security of the Indo-Pacific region.

Prachee Suman | 21-11-23 | New Delhi

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