Defence

Aus to enhance engagement with countries like India for more secure and open Indo-Pacific: Reynolds

Australia continues to enhance its engagement with like-minded countries, such as India, in support of a shared vision for a more secure, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has said, amid China flexing its muscles in the resource-rich region.

Reynolds said the recently concluded joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean is a reflection of the strengthened relations as comprehensive strategic partners.

The Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy last week completed a two-day mega exercise in the northeast of the Indian Ocean that featured a range of complex naval manoeuvres, anti-aircraft drills and helicopter operations.

It is the first major military exercise by India and Australia after they elevated their ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support in June.

“We continue to enhance our engagement with like-minded countries, such as India, in support of a shared vision for a more secure, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Reynolds said in a statement.

“Our defence relationship with India is at an historic high point after the Prime Ministers’ Virtual Summit earlier this year, and I look forward to further developing our comprehensive partnership into the future,” she said.

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