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India, Australia strengthen defence relations, to access military bases

India, Australia strengthen defence relations, to access military bases

The India Australia Virtual Summit saw the signing of an agreement to grant mutual access to military bases and scaling up defence relations between the two nations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison initiated a strategic partnership by signing a wide-ranging joint declaration for maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

In his opening remarks at the summit, Modi expressed happiness that the two countries are upgrading bilateral relations to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership level. He said that this partnership will be important in times of a global pandemic.

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Morrison said that mutual trust, shared values and common interests between the two countries provide a strong foundation for working together closely. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that the decisions taken on Thursday marked a major step forward in Australia and India's security and defence relationships.

Canberra and New Delhi signed an arrangement for mutual logistics support and implementing arrangements for cooperation in defence, science and technology in the MoU on defence cooperation.

The two countries also signed a framework arrangement on cyber and cyber-enabled critical technology cooperation besides a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mining and processing of critical and strategic minerals. Other MoUs on cooperation in the field of public administration and governance reforms, cooperation in vocational education and training and water resources management were also signed..