India, Australia agree to strengthen joint security cooperation

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New Delhi, Nov.13 (ANI): The Governments of India and Australia on Thursday announced a committment to a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, which they said would strengthen cooperation in a wide range of security and related areas, including counter-terrorism, defence, disarmament and non-proliferation and maritime security.

After bilateral discussions at Hyderabad House here, the Prime Ministers of India and Australia-Dr. Manmohan Singh and Kevin Rudd-reffirmed that the strategic partnership between India and Australia is based on a shared desire to promote, regional and global security, as well as their common commitment to democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law.

A joint statement issued after the meeting also said that the two leaders and their governments affirmed their deep respect for each other's contribution to promoting peace, stability and development in Asia and beyond;

Affirming their common purpose in working together, and with other countries including through such regional fora as the East Asia Summit and ASEAN Regional Forum to achieve the objective of a prosperous, open and secure Asia, and recognising that strengthened bilateral security cooperation will make a significant contribution in this context;

Recognising that India and Australia are partners with a mutual stake in each other's progress and prosperity;

Recognising that India and Australia share a common interest in maritime security;

Affirming their common commitment to fight terrorism and recognising that counter-terrorism efforts by India and Australia constitute an important part of the international community's effort to eradicate terrorism;

Affirming their common commitment to fight transnational and organised crime;

Reiterating their common commitment to global, complete and universal disarmament and non-proliferation and seeking a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons;

Both governments have decided to create a comprehensive framework for the enhancement of security cooperation between the two countries.

Security cooperation between India and Australia will include the following elements:

1. Information exchange and policy coordination on regional affairs in the Asia region and on long-term strategic and global issues.

2. Bilateral cooperation within multilateral frameworks in Asia, in particular the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

3.Defence dialogue and cooperation within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation signed in March 2006.

4.Efforts to combat terrorism.

5. Cooperation to combat transnational organised crime.

6. Disaster management.

7. Maritime and aviation security and

8. Police and law enforcement cooperation.

The following mechanisms will carry forward the above mentioned cooperation between the two countries:

1. Exchange of visits at high levels, including by foreign ministers.

2. Defence cooperation, which includes:

a. Defence policy talks (Senior Officials level).

b. Staff talks and service-to-service exchanges, including participation in exercises as agreed.

3. Consultations between the National Security Advisors of Australia and India.

4. Bilateral consultation to promote counter-terrorism cooperation through such means as the Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism.

5. Sharing knowledge and experience in disaster prevention and preparedness and relevant capacity building.mplementation

Australia and India will work towards developing an action plan with specific measures to advance security cooperation.(ANI)

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