India, Australia sign document to boost naval ties

Chiefs of the Indian and Australian navies on Wednesday signed a guidance document to streamline interaction between the two forces at various levels.

The Navy said in a statement that the signing ceremony for the ‘Joint Guidance for the Australia-India Navy to Navy Relationship’ document was held via videconference between Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, and Admiral Michael J Noonan, Chief of Navy, Australian Navy.

The document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreed to by prime ministers of the two nations, and aims to ensure a shared approached to regional and global security challenges, the Navy said.

Australia and India, along with the US and Japan are members of the four-nation Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, which has irked China. The navies of the four Quad nations will also participate in the Malabar Naval Exercise later this year.

The strengthening of the naval ties with Australia comes at a time when India and China are involved in an over 15-month long military standoff in eastern Ladakh.

The Navy statement said the ‘Joint Guidance’ will “serve as a guideline document to showcase the intent of both the Navies to work together bi/ multi-laterally” and its broad scope is focused on “developing mutual understanding, cooperate for regional security, collaborate in mutually beneficial activities and to develop interoperability”.

It said that the document’s highlights include “close cooperation in…

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