India, Australia Share Common Visions For Free And Open Indo-Pacific: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

 

Australian defence minister and deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said the government is focused on revitalising Australia's historically deep engagement with our partners across the Indo-Pacific

New Delhi: Asserting that Australia is a proven and trusted partner of India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said both countries share democratic values, having common visions for a free and open Indo-Pacific amid the ongoing visit of Australian defence minister and deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.  Marles received a Guard of Honour in the presence of Singh and laid a wreath at National War Memorial in the national capital on Wednesday.

Singh will review the defence cooperation between the two countries during the bilateral talks on Wednesday and explore new initiatives to strengthen bilateral engagements. Marles' India tour marks the first high-level visit from Australia after newly-elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took office on May 23.  "Australia and India are Comprehensive Strategic Partners. I am committed to strengthening Australia's defence and security cooperation with India," said Marles.

"I am looking forward to meeting with my counterpart, defence minister Rajnath Singh, and holding our first bilateral Defence Ministers' Meeting," Marles said in a statement. Marles stated that Rajnath Singh has been instrumental in advancing India-Australia defence ties and he looks forward to working with him to enhance the defence pillar of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

The minister also noted that India is one of Australia's closest security partners and the government is focused on revitalising Australia's historically deep engagement with our partners across the Indo-Pacific.

"The rules-based international order that has brought peace and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific for decades is experiencing pressure, as we face shifts in the geostrategic order," he said said. "Australia stands ready to work closely with India in support of an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific".

 Earlier, the Australian PM Albanese had said that the relationship with India is very important and ties between the two countries have never been closer. "Our relationship with India is a very important one and it was a great honour to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi."

PM Modi congratulated Prime Minister Albanese on his election victory. Both leaders reviewed the multi-faceted cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including trade and investment, defence manufacturing, renewable energy, green hydrogen, education, science and technology, agricultural research, sports, and people-to-people ties.

Both Prime Ministers affirmed their desire to continue the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship. Bilateral discussions with PM Modi focused on Australia and India's full strategic and economic agenda, including clean energy technology. 

Marles, who is on a four-day visit to India, met external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday.

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