søndag 7. juni 2020

India and Australia sign pacts to strengthen military ties as tensions simmer in South China Sea

India and Australia signed two bilateral military agreements Thursday in the "first step in deepening of the defense relationship" between the two Indo-Pacific powers, according to statements from both countries. The deals were announced after a virtual summit between prime ministers Scott Morrison of Australia and Narendra Modi of India.

"India is comprehensively and rapidly committed to strengthening its relations with Australia. This is not only important for our two nations but also for the Indo-Pacific region and the whole world," Modi said."We are committed to an open, inclusive, prosperous Indo-Pacific and India's role in that region, our region, will be critical in the years ahead," Morrison added.

The new pacts, known as the Australia-India Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement and the Defence Science and Technology Implementing Arrangement, come as military tensions increase in the Indo-Pacific region, which includes in the South China Sea, where China has been fortifying its positions on disputed islands. A joint post-summit statement said both countries "share a vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region to support the freedom of navigation, over-flight and peaceful and cooperative use of the seas."