Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell called on Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command (WNC) on Monday, November 23. During their interaction the High Commissioner and the Admiral exchanged views on various issues of common interest such as bilateral cooperation in defence and security, strategic partnership and shared maritime interests as Indian Ocean littoral states, a Ministry of Defence statement said.
“Barry O’ Farrell AO, High Commissioner of Australia, accompanied by Sarah Roberts, acting Consul General, Consulate of Australia, Mumbai and a three-member delegation called on Vice Adm Ajit Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command on 23 Nov 20,” said the Ministry of Defence in a statement.
The High Commissioner’s visit was notable as it coincided with the recently concluded Quad exercise, Malabar 2020, that saw the participation of India, Japan, Australia and the United States. HMAS Ballarat, a frigate of Royal Australian Navy represented Australia in both the phases of Malabar this year and had spent some time at Goa port for its operational turnaround from 10 to 13 November, the ministry added.
Moreover, the current visit by the High Commissioner is in accordance with the good relations enjoyed by both the Commonwealth nations and is expected to further strengthen the existing bonds between both the navies, the ministry stated. The Australian High Commissioner also visited the Aircraft Carrier Dock at the Western Naval Command.