Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in news?
India and Australia in June 2020 upgraded their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed several agreements, spanning mining of critical elements, cybersecurity cooperation and defence.
It reflects India and Australia’s strong commitment to practical global cooperation to address major challenges like COVID-19.
- Cooperation across a broad spectrum of issues such as terrorism, maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, reform in the World Trade Organization, and dealing with the coronavirus crisis were pledged.
- Defence science and technology, public administration, water resources management, and vocational training were some other areas the two countries shortlisted to deepen their partnership.
- A key takeaway was a pact on mining critical and strategic minerals.
- The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement will allow 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.
- India has already signed similar agreements with the US, France and Singapore.
- The document on cooperation in the Indo Pacific formalises maritime cooperation between India and Australia acknowledging both countries key priorities and imperatives.