reported by, Akash Sharma
Last Update: March 09, 2023, 21:21 IST
Describing India as a top-tier security partner for Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Thursday said the Indian Ocean is vital to the security and prosperity of both the countries.
“For Australia, India is a top tier security partner. The Indian Ocean is central to the security and prosperity of both countries. And there has never been a point in the history of our two countries where we have had such a strong strategic alignment,” said Albanese, who arrived in Ahmedabad on Wednesday at the start of his four-day visit to India.
Albanese visited India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Mumbai. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar received him with a guard of honour.
The Prime Minister said his visit reflects my government’s commitment to placing India at the center of Australia’s vision for the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
“I am honored to be here today aboard the newly commissioned, Indian designed and built INS Vikrant at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi. My visit My Government’s commitment to placing India at the center of Australia’s vision for the Indo-Pacific and beyond represents.
“While here, I have had the great pleasure of meeting the talented and highly professional men and women of the Indian Navy. It made me reflect that strong defense ties have been built over time and by many people. levels, it is the determination and foresight of those who see the relationship not only for what it is but for what it can be. One such person is Prime Minister Modi. I want to thank him today – Not only for his invitation to visit this historic facility, but also for his dedication in advancing our defense and security partnership.”
India-Australia share unwavering commitment to inclusive Indo-Pacific: Albanese
Albanese added that a partnership that is of growing strategic importance as we navigate the challenges of our region together.
“We both depend on free and open access to sea lanes in the Indo-Pacific for our economic well-being. And we share an unbreakable commitment to uphold the rules-based international order and ensure the Indo-Pacific is open, inclusive and prosperous. share commitment. I am pleased to report that there has never been a busier or more productive time in our defense and security partnership. Last year, we conducted more exercises, operations and dialogues than ever before.”
In a major step in India-Australia relations, Albanese said that for the first time both the countries deployed maritime patrol aircraft in each other’s territories.
“In November alone, we conducted increasingly complex and sophisticated exercises in Indo-Pacific Endeavor and Exercise Austrahind. This was capped off by the Malabar exercise – where we strengthened our military interoperability with India, our close allies Japan and the United States. More important than these figures is the sheer complexity and high-level nature of our military relationship, which is unprecedented. I predict that 2023 will be busier than ever for our defense cooperation.
“As we speak, the inaugural Australia-India General Rawat Defense Officer Exchange Program is taking place in India. This pioneering exchange programme, envisioned by Prime Minister Modi, will ensure our defense personnel develop familiarity and trust that cements a close and long-lasting relationship.
“I am delighted to formally announce, aboard the magnificent INS Vikrant, that Australia will host Exercise MALABAR for the first time later this year and India – also for the first time – will participate in Australia’s Talisman Saber exercise. Australia in August It will be a privilege for me to welcome the Indian Navy and I once again thank them for hosting me here today.
The visit is the first by an Australian Prime Minister to India since 2017. Over the past year, the two countries have focused cooperation on developing Australia’s vast reserves of rare earth minerals, such as lithium and cobalt, which are essential to India’s ambitious plans to develop. Clean technologies and electric vehicles.
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