Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell took charge a month before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in India, yet his time here has seen a steady uptick in the momentum of bilateral cooperation including a Prime Ministerial summit in June and, more recently, Australia’s inclusion in the Malabar naval exercises. He speaks to Narayan Lakshman about a range of cooperative initiatives on the anvil.Regarding the big announcement of Australia joining the Malabar naval exercises, effectively making it a Quad event: could you explain how this takes forward the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) that Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison agreed in June 2020, in terms of maritime security and broader stability across the region?It will demonstrate the ability of our navy to work through exercises, warfare serials and like with the navies of India, Australia, the U.S. and Japan. That is important because, were there to be a regional crisis, like a natural or humanitarian disaster, the ability to work smoothly with partners is critical. It builds particularly on the maritime agreement that was one of the agreements underneath the CSP, but also to the mutual logistic support arrangement, which is designed to improve the collaboration between our armed forces…. Read full this story
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