Indian Navy chief to visit Australia

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) In another boost for defence ties with Australia, Indian Navy Chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan will be the country from October 2-7 for meetings with its top leadership, an official statement said on Friday.

The visit also coincides with the Australian Navy’s annual Sea Power Conference.

The forum provides opportunities to engage with the heads of over 40 navies.

The statement said the visit aims to “consolidate existing Maritime Cooperation initiatives as well as explore new avenues.”

“India-Australia have several commonalities, which serve as foundation for closer cooperation and multifaceted interactions,” the statement said.

Maritime cooperation between Australia and India has been robust, with the two recently conducting the first bilateral exercise Ausindex.

The two nations signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement in 2006 as well as a Framework for Defence Cooperation in 2014, which envisages regular ship visits as well as high level exchanges.

“India-Australia share similar maritime challenges such as long coastline, extensive EEZ, coastal security, large coastal shipping and fishing fleet, where in both Navies have opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences,” the statement said.

The statement added that common grounds exists for cooperation in ship-building, especially under the “Make in India” initiative.

Admiral Dhowan, during his visit, will meet the chief of the Royal Australian Navy, vice chief of defence staff, defence secretary and other senior naval officers.

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