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India, Australia decide to broaden defence and security cooperation

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj greets Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne during her visit to New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: MEA/Twitter

NEW DELHI (PTI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday held talks with her Australian counterpart Marise Payne on ways to further broaden the defence and security cooperation between the two countries.

The two ministers deliberated upon the prevailing situation in the Indo-Pacific and resolved to boost cooperation to ensure peace and stability in the region.

"EAM @SushmaSwaraj and Australian FM @MarisePayne took stock of defence and security partnership, discussed enhancing regional cooperation in Indo-Pacific, and collaboration in all aspects of the bilateral relationship," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Payne arrived in New Delhi on Monday on a three-day visit.

A number of major powers including the US and Japan have been pushing for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific region.

In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

India, the US and several other countries have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the region.

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