On 29 September 2021, Australian and Indian navy has signed the ‘Terms of Reference for the Conduct of Navy-to-Navy Talks between the Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy.’
The signing ceremony was held virtually between Rear Admiral Jaswinder Singh, ACNS (FCI), IN and Rear Admiral Christopher Smith, DCNS, RAN.
Prior to this, on 18 August 2021, the Chiefs of the Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) had signed ‘Joint Guidance for the India – Australia Navy to Navy Relationship’ document.
The ‘Joint Guidance’ document sets forth the Navy to Navy (N2N) Talks as the ‘Principal’ medium for the guiding the bilateral relationship.
The press release notes that the bilateral defence relations between India and Australia have strengthened over the years.
“‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement, conduct of trilateral Maritime Security Workshop and RAN participation in Exercise MALABAR are significant milestones which underline the role played by both Navies in bolstering this relationship in recent times.”
This document would be pivotal in consolidating the shared commitment to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo – Pacific region.
Since the inaugural Navy-to-Navy Talk, held in 2005, the two nations and Navies have continued to grow closer at all levels.
Both India and Australia, with over a decade of bilateral talks in this area, remain committed to strengthen and deepen this important Navy to Navy relationship.
“The document underpins the broad objective of deeper mutual understanding, trust and transparency, improved goodwill and understanding of each other’s concerns and future directions, and provides detailed guidance for the conduct of IN – RAN N2N Talks.”
This signed document also provides flexibility to both India and Australia for implementation of separate agreements based on the specific outcomes of the Talks.