Rajnath Singh and Richard Marles hold bilateral meet after World Cup, India-Australia strengthen defence ties 

Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, and his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the defence relations between the two nations

| Updated: 20 November, 2023 8:30 pm IST
Rajnath Singh and Richard Marles hold bilateral meet in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: In a significant bilateral meeting held in New Delhi, India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, and his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the defence relations between the two nations on Monday. Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles was also present during the World Cup match between the two countries where Australia emerged as champions.

The talks centred around advancing military cooperation, focusing on specialised training.Areas including Artificial Intelligence (AI), anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare, and the cyber domain.

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This came right after the ICC ODI World Cup held on Sunday where Australia clinched the trophy against India, despite the blue team remaining unbeaten in back to back nine matches. The trophy was jointly handed over to the Australian capitan Pat Cummins by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi alongside Richard Marles.

The meeting, held on November 20, highlighted the growing collaboration between India and Australia in various military spheres, encompassing joint exercises, exchanges, and institutional dialogues. Singh commended Minister Marles on Australia’s successful conduct of the ‘Malabar’ multilateral exercise in August this year.

Both ministers concurred that fostering a robust defence partnership between India and Australia not only serves the mutual interests of both nations but also plays a pivotal role in bolstering the overall security framework of the Indo-Pacific region. 

Both ministers emphasised the criticality of enhancing cooperation in information exchange and bolstering maritime domain awareness. The discussions also revealed that the two countries are in advanced stages of negotiating and implementing arrangements concerning Hydrography Cooperation and air-to-air refuelling.

Singh stressed the necessity for forces from both nations to collaborate further in specialised training domains such as AI, anti-submarine, anti-drone warfare, and the cyber realm. Acknowledging the robust relationship, the ministers agreed that deepening cooperation in defence industry and research would significantly elevate their ties.

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The Indian Defence Minister proposed potential areas for collaboration, including shipbuilding, ship repair, maintenance, and Aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO). Furthermore, discussions revolved around joint research initiatives in underwater technologies and fostering collaboration among defence start-ups to collectively address challenges. The meeting laid the groundwork for a more fortified relationship, paving the way for enhanced military cooperation and joint initiatives between the two nations.

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