NEW DELHI, July 11 (KUNA) -- India and Australia Wednesday signed an
agreement on sharing information in the field of defence and decided that
their navies will participate in a multilateral maritime drill also involving
the US, Japan and Singapore.
Talking to reporters at Delhi tonight, visiting Australian Defence Minister
Brendan Nelson said the maritime exercise would be conducted later this year.
"The information sharing agreement will see greater cooperation in the
areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism and UN peacekeeping operations,"
Indian Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt and his Australian counterpart Nick
Warner signed the pact after talks between Nelson and his Indian counterpart A
K Antony today.
Nelson said, "Australia considered relations with India extremely important
in the general sense and specifically in the defence and security spheres".
"We will now be seeing increasing exchanges between key military personnel
as we increase our engagement as part of India's Look East policy," he said,
adding, "India has an enormously well-trained navy and considerable experience
with counter-terrorism and peacekeeping. We hope to benefit from this."
"We have engaged ourselves in trade, cultural and other issues. There is no
intention to extend this to a quadrilateral strategic dialogue. We do not wish
to have a formal quadrilateral strategic dialogue," the Australian Defence
Minister stressed. (end)
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