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Gen Naravane holds talks with Australian counterpart

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian  Army Chief Gen MM Naravane has held wide-ranging talks with his Australian counterpart Lt Gen Rick Burr on ways to further deepen bilateral military cooperation besides pressing global issues.

It is learnt that the ongoing crisis in Ukraine figured in the talks.

Lt Gen Burr is on a visit to India from March 8 to 11.

"Interaction between both the Chiefs of the Army Staff was warm and cordial. Both Chiefs exchanged views on the current global situation and the situation in Indo-Pacific in addition to discussing measures for enhancing defence cooperation between both armies," the Army said on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Australian Army chief laid a wreath at the National War Memorial and received a ceremonial guard of honour at the South Block lawns.

Lt Gen Burr also addressed the faculty and officials at the prestigious National Defence College.

He interacted on regional security perspectives with the Vice Chief of Army Staff and the Director at Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS).

Lt Gen Burr will also be visiting Indian Army formations and units deployed along Western Borders on March 10 and 11, the Army said in a statement.

The defence and security ties between India and Australia have been on an upswing.

In June 2020, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support.

The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.

The Australian Navy was part of the Malabar naval exercise hosted by India in November 2020 as well as last year.

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