India-Australia look to sign the Logistics Support Agreement, a key agreement for both the countries. In this context, comment on the relations between India and Australia.
India and Australia have moved closer to signing the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA). It comes ahead of the Australian Prime Minister’s meet scheduled in January.
The LSA is one of key agenda points between India and Australia as it will allow the two countries to use each other’s military bases for logistical support which includes food, water, and petroleum.
Common concerns –
India and Australia share a common concern that is China and its growing influence. While Australia is worried about the Chinese activities in the Pacific Ocean, India has concerns over its increasing activities and influence in the Indian Ocean.
The strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between India and Australia, a two week bilateral maritime exercise named AUSINDEX was held this year. From 2016-18, the armies conducted a joint military exercise named AUSTRA HIND. Australia’s foreign policy whitepaper in 2017, identified India being on par with US, Japan, Indonesia and China in terms of International relationships.
Bilateral relations between India & Australia –
The first ever ever official visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Australia was during June 2013. Thereafter rapid progress was made in Defence relations through the framework of
bilateral talks at the level of Defence Ministries, defence training and exchanges of visits by Service Chiefs and Senior Officers.
The PM visited Australia in November 2014 to extend cooperation in the field of defence, research, development and industry engagement. An agreement was done to hold regular meetings at the level of the Defence Minister, conduct regular maritime exercises and regular service-to-service talks.
The trust display during the military exercises is a representation of a deepening strategic alignment between the two countries. It emphasizes on the shared outlook of both the nations to support free and open democracies. India and Australia can work to jointly address the shared challenges – terrorism, transnational crime, smuggling and illegal fishing.