Rajnath Singh and Peter Dutton review defence cooperation initiatives between the India and Australia in a phone conversation.
Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton and his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation on Tuesday during which they reviewed the progress of various defence cooperation initiatives between the two countries, and expressed their intent to convene a ‘2+2’ ministerial dialogue at the earliest.
“Spoke to Australian Minister for Defence, Mr Peter Dutton about the measures taken by both the countries to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. India and Australia share a warm and people to people contact underpinned by a strategic partnership,” Singh tweeted.
“It is heartening to note that the Australian Armed forces have wholeheartedly supported India in its fight against COVID-19,” Singh added.
The defence ministry said the two ministers reviewed the defence cooperation in the backdrop of the current regional situation and expressed satisfaction at the growing military ties between the two countries.
Australia and India are two of the four members of the Quad grouping or the Quadrilateral coalition. The other two members are USA and Japan.
In June 2020, Australia and India entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support during an online summit between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows militaries of the two countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.
The Australian Navy, along with the navies of the US and Japan, was part of the Malabar naval exercise hosted by India in November.
NRI Affairs News Desk