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Australia will continue to be part of Malabar naval exercise: India

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Australia will continue to be part of the Malabar naval exercise, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla  has said, in a clear indication that all the Quad member nations will participate in it.

Australia was part of the mega naval exercise in 2020 and 2021.

"As you know Australia has been inducted into the Malabar framework. They have participated in Malabar exercises in 2020 and 2021. And they will continue to be part of the Malabar, let's say, group of countries that participate in these exercises," he said on Monday.

"I think we will certainly look forward to the participation of all concerned," Shringla added.

The foreign secretary was addressing a media briefing following a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. Japan became a permanent member of the exercise in 2015.

Australia's participation in the exercise in the last two editions make it a drill involving all the four Quad countries -- India, the US, Australia and Japan.

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