Australia calls its participation in Malabar exercise a ‘milestone opportunity’

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 19, 2020, 08.21 PM(IST)

Indian navy Photograph:( Reuters )

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A joint release by Australian foreign and defense ministry said," “It will bolster the ability of India, Australia, Japan and the United States to work together to uphold peace and stability across our region.”

Calling Australia's participation at Malabar exercises as a "milestone", the country in its first reaction on the development said it, “showcases the deep trust between four major Indo-Pacific democracies and their shared will to work together on common security interests.”

A joint release by Australian foreign and defense ministry said," “It will bolster the ability of India, Australia, Japan and the United States to work together to uphold peace and stability across our region.”

The invitation for participation in the exercises was sent by New Delhi to Canberra in last one week. The exercises which will take place in November will see all four quad member countries participating in exercises in Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.

Australian defence minister Linda Reynolds said," “High-end military exercises like MALABAR are key to enhancing Australia’s maritime capabilities, building interoperability with our close partners, and demonstrating our collective resolve to support an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific".

The sentiment was echoed by Australian foreign minister Marise Payne, who said, “This builds on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to which Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Modi agreed on 4 June 2020, and which I progressed with my counterpart, Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar, this month when we met in Tokyo."

Australia last participated in Exercises in 2007 and this will be after a decade it will be back in the exercises which is bound to irk China. China has already been upset with quad, calling it Asian Nato, and coming together of all 4 quad countries under Malabar exercises umbrella is bound to draw a sharp reaction from Beijing.

Indian and Australian Navies already have bilateral exercises and the Indian navy has been going to Australian waters for multilateral exercises. Interestingly, New Delhi has LEMOA or Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with all 3 countries--US, Japan and Australia.

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