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HomeNewsIndia and Australia have common interest in Indian Ocean region: Australian Navy

India and Australia have common interest in Indian Ocean region: Australian Navy


Australia is increasing its military cooperation with India and both countries have common interests in the Indian Ocean region, which is an important area for Australia, Rear Admiral Jonathan Earley, Commander of the Australian Fleet said on Tuesday.

Rear Admiral Earley is on a four-day visit to India as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) which is Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity. He also pointed out the challenges that the Indo-Pacific region is facing which included “big power muscle movements”, in a veiled indication of China’s expansionist policies in the region.

While addressing a question related to Chinese assertiveness in the region, the Rear Admiral expressed an understanding of India managing a large border with China.

As part of the third edition of the IPE, the Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac-class frigate HMAS Anzac and Canberra-class ship HMAS Adelaide docked in Visakhapatnam two days ago.

The IPE is aimed at the promotion of stability and security in regions around Australia and involves bilateral and multilateral engagement, training, and capacity-building programs. It is one of Australia’s key regional maritime engagements and under it, the Navy of the country is visiting 14 countries in Southeast Asia and the Northeast Indian Ocean from September to November.

The Rear Admiral said the IPE’s main drive is to allow countries to operate freely and uphold international law and the engagement is not directed at any one country.

The Navy commander also announced that Australia is committed to making effective contributions towards humanitarian causes and security efforts in the Indo-Pacific region.

On rising security cooperation between China and Australian neighbor Solomon Island, Rear Admiral Earley said Canberra respects any country’s sovereign decision.

“Solomon Islands is a sovereign country. It is their decision with whom they want to engage,” he said.

“We can help countries make informed decisions. But it is for them to decide,” he added.

India is concerned about China’s rising maneuvers in the Indian Ocean region and is now trying to boost defense and security ties in the region with courtiers having similar concerns.

India-Australia defense ties are strengthening over the last few years and both countries elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in June 2020. They also signed a landmark agreement on reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support.

The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows the militaries of the two countries to use each other’s bases for supply repair and replenishment, as well as to facilitate the expansion of overall defense cooperation.

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