New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday spoke to his Australian counterpart Peter Dutton primarily focusing on the measures taken by both countries to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the conversation, Singh said India remained fully committed to implementing the comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia and that both sides looked forward to convening the next two-plus-two ministerial dialogue soon.
“Spoke to Australian Minister for Defence, Mr Peter Dutton about the measures taken by both the countries to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. India and Australia share a warm and people to people contact underpinned by a strategic partnership,” Singh tweeted.
“It is heartening to note that the Australian Armed forces have wholeheartedly supported India in its fight against COVID-19,” he added.
In June last, 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 during an online summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
“India remains fully committed to the implementation of comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia. Both sides look forward to convening the Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue at the earliest opportunity,” Singh said.
The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows 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 last. The navies of the US and Japan were also part of it.