External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday spoke to his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, covering various regional and global developments and “current concerns”.
In a tweet, Mr Jaishankar said he and Ms Payne reviewed regional and global developments and discussed “our current concerns”. He, however, did not elaborate on them.
“Just finished a conversation with Australian FM @MarisePayne. Reviewed regional and global developments and discussed our current concerns,” he said.
On her part Ms Payne described the virtual conversation as “valuable”.
“Australia & India’s Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has guided our close cooperation on regional challenges during COVID-19. My friend @DrSJaishanka & I had a very valuable discussion today following our meeting in October,” she tweeted.
The defence and security ties between India and Australia have been on an upswing in the last few years.
In June, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support during an online summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows militaries of the two countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.
The Australian Navy was part of the Malabar naval exercise hosted by India last month. The navies of the US and Japan were also part of it.
Both India and Australia have had fractious ties with China in the last few months. While India’s ties with China came under severe strain following the border row in eastern Ladakh, relations between Beijing and Canberra deteriorated over trade issues.
(If you like reading The Outlooker, please consider subscribing to us below. Subscriptions are free for first 500 subscribers.)