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India, Australia Review Strategic Ties, Regional Security During Secretarial Talks

The defence ministry said the two sides deliberated on prevailing regional security concerns and explored ways for cooperation in field of defence industry and technology.

PTI

Updated:December 9, 2019, 7:11 PM IST
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India, Australia Review Strategic Ties, Regional Security During Secretarial Talks
A photo of the key officials from the two countries tweeted by the defence ministry. (@SpokespersonMoD)

New Delhi: India and Australia on Monday carried out a comprehensive review of their strategic engagement and the regional security scenario during a defence and foreign secretarial-level talks.

The defence ministry said the two sides deliberated on prevailing regional security concerns and explored ways for cooperation in field of defence industry and technology.

The Indian delegation was led by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, while the Australian side was headed by Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty and Foreign Secretary Frances Adamson.

"Issues related to bilateral defence engagements, areas to enhance cooperation in the field of defence industry and defence technology as well as the prevailing regional security concerns were discussed," the defence ministry said in a statement.

Official sources said both sides also deliberated on the evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region and resolved to work closely for regional peace, prosperity and stability.

China has been fast expanding military and economic influence in the Indo-Pacific region, triggering concern in various countries of the region and beyond. The two sides also reviewed their maritime cooperation and agreed to further broaden it to protect common interests in the region.

India, Japan, Australia and the US have been working closely in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region under the "Quad" framework.

In November 2017, the four countries gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

In the talks, Kumar conveyed India's appreciation towards the ongoing defence engagement between armed forces of the two countries. Before the two-plus-two dialogue, both the defence secretaries held a bilateral meeting.

Officials said both sides carried out a comprehensive review of their strategic engagement.

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