India and Australia plan to discuss various bilateral defence agreements in a virtual summit this Thursday, as conflict with China heighten.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are in the midst of formulating a stronger bond between the nations as they intend to discuss their common security interests during an upcoming meeting on Thursday.
The main focus is placed on establishing a mutual agreement that would allow each nation access to each other’s military bases, amongst other arrangements.
During the past five years Australia and India have managed to strengthen their relation through their trade, immigration and common ties. Since 2014, they have increased their visits.
As both countries increase their affluence in the region, the need for an alliance amongst the powers becomes more apparent.
Both nations have already previously engaged in military agreements. Most recently, in December 2019, they enhanced their defence relationship with the establishment of the Logistic Support Agreement that allowed reciprocal access to each nation’s ports.
During the meeting “the two sides emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration to counter the threat of terrorism and violent extremism through increased information sharing. The 2+2 meeting provided opportunities for the two sides to review the status of their bilateral relationship in the context of emerging scenarios. “said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
With the approximation to the virtual summit, the Australian prime minister said “As like-minded democracies and natural strategic partners, Australia and India are in full agreement that our strong bilateral relationship is key to a more open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific.”
A shared suspicion due to a rise of Chinese naval activities throughout the Indian Ocean has pushed a need to establish ties. Both nations have recently experienced situation of escalating tension with China due to trade and territorial conflicts therefore are prioritizing the establishment of preventive measures. The meeting will play a crucial role in ensuring the safety amongst the region.
One of the focus of the meeting is to further develop their naval relationship and incorporate an aerospace cooperation. The Indian Air Forces have previously developed the IACCS (Integrated Air Command and Control System) that allows for a system of communication and surveillance throughout the majority of the Indian Ocean. With the incorporation of Australian military resources, the majority of the region would be monitored.
Follow up should occur once the meeting is held