India Australia ties receive Bishop’s blessing

Julie BishopIn Chennai to inaugurate a new Australian consulate, Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, was extremely positive on the future of ties between the two countries especially in the Indian Ocean Region, and in the nuclear domain.

Interacting with the Indian press, she identified nuclear energy, counter-terrorism, naval maritime exercises, energy, and trade and investment in the automobile industry as primary areas of cooperation.

Indian and Australian navy and coast guard enjoy a significant degree of mutual understanding. They engage during naval maritime exercises like Malabar (with US and Japan), International Fleet Reviews and at platforms, such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

On land, the internal security cooperation has been developing gradually with a Joint Working Group on Counter terror, working on dealing with Home Grown Terror (HGT), with both nations facing similar threats from global terror outfit like Daesh/ISIS. The existing Framework for Security Cooperation signed last year guides the processes above.

Ms Bishop was clear that the implementation of the nuclear agreement signed last year in September is as good as done, after the Australian parliament’s joint standing committee on treaties approves of it.

Her statement came against the backdrop of a meaty $ 280 million nuclear fuel supply agreement signed between India and Canada last week.

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