Washington: India’s willingness to include Australia in the INDO-PACIFIC Malabar exercise comes during a bitter standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
INDIA is considering an invitation to AUSTRALIA to join the next MALABAR NAVAL EXERCISE. “Canberra’s participation in the drill along with the other three Quad members will be hugely beneficial to reinforcing behaviours that are going to be necessary for them to defend their mutual interests,” said a top US diplomat.
India said that New Delhi was favourably considering Australia’s interest to be part of the Malabar exercise and a formal decision is likely to be taken in the next couple of weeks.
According to MR. Biegun, India just recently invited Australia to participate in the Malabar exercises, which is now going to allow all four members of the quad to participate in a military exercise together that will be hugely beneficial to reinforce the behaviours that are going to be necessary for us to defend our mutual interests.
Since 1992 the annual naval exercise that started as a bilateral drill between the Indian and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean and Japan become the member in 2015 and now Australia may join. Quad or quadrilateral coalition represents four countries – India, Japan, Australia, and the US.
The quad aims to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and check China‘s increasing efforts to expand military influence in the region.
The US is collaborating very closely with countries in the Indo-Pacific for a regional approach and has launched robust cooperation in the Indo-Pacific quad.
Mr Biegun said, “Our policy successfully stands on four pillars. First is unity at home. Second is a close partnership with our friends and allies around the world. Third is effective military deterrence. And fourth is a powerful economic alternative to China”.
Mr. Biegun raised the concern over China’s increasing military assertiveness, economic coercion, and state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, including among others against India, Australia, Canada, the UK, ASEAN members, the European Union, and several other European countries.
“Across the Indo-Pacific region, the United States is deepening relationships with the countries that share our values and interests in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Mr Biegun said.
Last September a ministerial-level meeting was held between US, AUSTRALIA, INDIA, and JAPAN for marking a new milestone in diplomatic engagement in a new Asian quad in the region.
The senior US diplomat said, “We are enhancing our alliances with Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand, which have helped sustain peace and security for generations, and we are furthering our cooperation with ASEAN, an organization central to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Article written by SOMANATH SAHU
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