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India, Australia sign MoU on defence cooperation
March 06, 2006 21:30 IST
Brushing aside past misgivings over New Delhi's Naval buildup, Australia on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India on cooperation in defence, covering maritime cooperation to check terrorist threat in Malacca Straits, the key sea-lane for trade.
The MoU signed by Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt and Australian High Commissioner John McCarthy in New Delhi in the presence of visiting Prime Minister John Howard and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, also provides for cooperation in military training, defence industries and defence research and development.
For implementing the MoU, New Delhi and Canberra also agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on defence on the pattern of similar high-level working groups India has with France, Russia and the US.
"India and Australia share common interests in the stabilty of Asia-Pacific region, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, fight against terrorism and ensuring security of lanes of amss communication in the region", a defence ministry statement said after signing of the MoU.The statement said the conclusion of an MoU is seen as "realisation of the need for developing close and constructive defence cooperation in areas of common interest."