India, Australia sign defense, trade deals to bolster ties



Sheikh Saaliq | ABC News

NEW DELHI — India and Australia upgraded their relationship with a raft of agreements Thursday, including strengthening defense ties and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific maritime issues.

The agreements were signed during a virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison.

The mutual logistic support agreement gives the two countries access to each other’s military bases. India and Australia see defense as a key pillar of the bilateral engagement and have recently conducted several military exercises.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne in a statement said a maritime declaration with India marks “a major step forward in the security and defense relationship as part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” between the countries.

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