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Australian Army delegation visits India

NEW DELHI (PTI):  An Australian Army delegation is on a week-long visit to India from June 25 to explore ways to further deepen cooperation between the two militaries, officials have said.

The visit came two days after Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles concluded a three-day trip to India that was focused on boosting defence industrial cooperation between the two sides.

The Australian Army team visited the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun, the Bengal Engineer Group Centre in Roorkee, Wargame Research and Development Centre (WARDEC) in Delhi and the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), Indian Army officials said on Wednesday.

Talks were held at the IMA and both sides reviewed road map for activities to promote defence cooperation.

The areas for collaboration that figured in the talks included training courses between both armies, cadet exchange programmes between pre-commission training academies of the two sides, exchanges by experts in niche domains and functional and high-level visits as well as virtual interactions in the field of medical and doctrinal exchanges, said an official.

The defence and security ties between India and Australia have been on an upswing in the last few years.

In April, the two countries signed a trade pact to diversify bilateral trade.

In June 2020, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support.

The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows the militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.

The Australian Navy was part of the Malabar naval exercise hosted by India in November 2020 as well as last year.

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