A ‘Joint Guidance for the Australia – India Navy to Navy Relationship’ document was signed between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy today, 18 August 2021. The signing ceremony was held virtually between Adm Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy and Vice Admiral Michael J Noonan, Chief of Navy, Australian Navy.
The document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreed by the Prime Ministers and aims to ensure shared approached to regional and global security challenges. The Joint Guidance would serve as a guideline document to showcase the intent of both the Navies to work together bi/ multi-laterally. The broad scope of the guidance is focussed on developing mutual understanding, cooperate for regional security, collaborate in mutually beneficial activities and to develop interoperability.
The highlights of document include close cooperation in regional and multilateral fora, including Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)and Expert Working Groups subordinate to the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus framework.
Bilateral defence relations between India and Australia have strengthened over the years. ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement, conduct of trilateral Maritime Security Workshop and RAN participation in Exercise MALABAR are significant milestones which underline the role played by both Navies in bolstering this relationship in recent times. The document would be pivotal in consolidating the shared commitment to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo – Pacific region.