The mutual logistical support agreement was signed on Thursday at a virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison. He said the finance, trade and defense ministers between the two sides will intensify negotiations in the near future to improve relations in a post-covid world. India and Australia have signed a landmark agreement allowing the use of each other`s military bases in New Delhi: India and Australia vowed on Thursday to take their relations to the level of a «comprehensive strategic partnership», although both signed the long «mutual logistical support» agreement that paves the way for greater defence cooperation. The Australia-India Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement and the Defence Science and Technology Implementing Arrangement provide a framework for deepening defence cooperation between the two countries. The agreement allows Indian and Australian military ships and aircraft to refuel and reach maintenance facilities at the other`s bases. Over the years, India and Australia have sought to strengthen defence cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) will allow the militaries of both countries to use the other country`s bases for repair and replenishment of stocks and facilitate the expansion of all defense cooperation. The cyber, science and infrastructure agreements signed today will help deepen trade, Morrison said. The two countries will also continue their meetings between the foreign and defense ministers to strengthen relations. Australia`s merchandise trade with India for the year ending June 2019 was AUD 21.1 billion ($14.6 billion), according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The deal, confirmed by Morrison in his opening speech at a virtual summit between leaders on Thursday, could allow the two nations to gain access to each other`s bases and ports and strengthen their defense relations. The Mutual Logistics Support Pact resembles an agreement signed by India with the United States in 2016.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison signed a major defense deal and downgraded relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, with the two nations navigating through strained relations with China. India and Australia today reached a pioneering agreement on reciprocal access to military logistics bases and struck six other pacts aimed at further expanding relations, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison held an online summit. In 2015, they began their first bilateral naval exercise «AUSINDEX», focused on deepening defence and maritime cooperation, particularly in the Indian Ocean. The third iteration of AUSINDEX, a biennial event, took place last April in the Bay of Bengal. India has already signed similar agreements with the United States, France and Singapore. Relations between the two nations were upgraded to the level of «strategic partnership» in 2009. Since then, the two countries have strengthened cooperation in a number of key areas. «They`re trying to boost two-way trade and investment between Australia and India to try to deal with some of the risk of managing a much more confident China and the unpredictable U.S.,» Hall said. . .