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Australia and India strengthen defence and technology ties

The first AUSMIN/AUKMIN-style meeting of Australian and Indian Foreign and Defence Ministers will be held later this year, it has been announced by the two countries’ Prime Ministers. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a three-day State Visit to India where he met his opposite number, Shri Narendra Modi, prime Minister of India.

Both Prime Ministers held the 1st Annual Australia-India Summit in New Delhi on 10 March 2023, addressing a diverse range of areas, including political and strategic, defence and security, trade and investment, education and research, agriculture and water, cyber and space, mining and critical minerals, climate change and renewable energy, and mobility of people.

The Prime Ministers welcomed sustained progress under the defence and security pillar of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Recognising the increasingly uncertain global security environment, they underlined their unwavering commitment to strengthening the India-Australia defence and security partnership to address shared challenges, and work towards an open, inclusive, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

The Prime Ministers said the 2+2 Defence and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue and the meeting of the Defence Ministers would enhance mutual understanding and coordination of engagements between the two countries. They welcomed the arrangements between the two countries for enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness in the Indian Ocean region, increased defence information sharing and consolidation of mutual access that continue to deepen operational defence cooperation.

Recalling the India-Australia Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-enabled Critical Technology Cooperation and Plan of Action signed by the two countries’ Foreign Ministers on 4 June 2020, both sides appreciated the progress achieved in deepening the bilateral cyber cooperation. The Prime Ministers also agreed that India and Australia may continue to explore conduct of aircraft deployments from each other’s territories to build operational familiarity and enhance maritime domain awareness.

They also highlighted the significance of defence industry, research and material cooperation between the two countries and acknowledged the progress achieved under the Joint Working Group to enhance cooperation in these areas. The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the visit of an Australian delegation to Indian defence corridors in 2022 and underscored the need for boosting connections between Indian and Australian defence industrial bases.

The Prime Ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and emphasised the need for strengthened international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner, and to combat all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, whatever their motivation may be.

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