New Delhi: India and Australia signed the important ‘Mutual Logistics Support Agreement’ (MLSA). As per this agreement, the countries will be able to use military bases of one another. The importance of cooperation between India and Australia has increased manifold, given the imbalance of power, created because of the increasing Chinese military might, in the marine regions of the Indian and Pacific Ocean. Along with the MLSA, India and Australia signed seven more cooperation agreements. Both the countries announced an action-oriented cooperation plan, in respect of the Indo-Pacific sector. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a virtual bilateral dialogue. The fruitful dialogue culminated in the signing of seven agreements, including the MLSA. The agreements are regarding defence, Cyber sector, education, rare earth metals and Water resource management. Prime Minister Modi underlined the importance of the Indo-Australian cooperation, saying that this cooperation is important not only for India and Australia but also for the entire Indo-Pacific sector.
Whereas, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that India and Australia don’t only claim their rights on the marine region, but also discharge their responsibilities towards the sectors. Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Morrison also announced the action-oriented cooperation plan saying that India and Australia expect a secured Indo-Pacific sector, where there is a respect for the international laws.
Meanwhile, the Australian Prime Minister declared support for India’s membership, in the UN Security Council. Morrison also supported India, advocating allocation of the membership to Nuclear Suppliers Group (NGS), of the suppliers of nuclear fuel. While the dispute between Australia and China in aggravating, the cooperation developing between India and Australia, is drawing the attention of the military analysts. MLSA has been signed by both these countries, in view of the perceived threat from China. At this time, India has signed seven agreements with Australia, in reply to the Chinese aggression. India and Australia have taken a stand that the MLSA agreement is necessary for the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region. India, the United States, Australia and Japan had taken the initiative and joined hands to form QUAD, to rein in the aggressive Chinese activities in the marine regions of Indian and the Pacific Ocean. The cooperation developing between India and Australia is an important step in the QUAD. Along with this, during the virtual bilateral meeting, between Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Morrison, it was also decided to include Australia in the Malabar War Exercises. As per the analysts, the strategic and economic cooperation between India and Australia adds to the Chinese concerns.