Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles is visiting India to discuss defence ties between the two countries. “Australia and India are Comprehensive Strategic Partners. I am committed to strengthening Australia’s defence and security cooperation with India,” Marles said. “I am looking forward to meeting with my counterpart, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and holding our first bilateral Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

“Minister Singh has been instrumental in advancing India-Australia defence ties and I look forward to working with him to enhance the defence pillar of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Marles said.

The deputy prime minister said India is one of Australia’s closest security partners and the Government is focused on revitalising Australia’s historically deep engagement with our partners across the Indo-Pacific. “The rules-based international order that has brought peace and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific for decades is experiencing pressure, as we face shifts in the geostrategic order,” Marles said. “Australia stands ready to work closer with India in support of an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.”

During the visit Marles will also meet External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and engage national security and defence policymakers and personnel. Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2022, Defence’s flagship engagement activity, returns to India this year. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

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