Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff is scheduled to visit Australia and New Zealand on an official tour from 2 to 6 September 2019.
Building on a long history of cooperation, India and Australia have a matured Defence relationship underpinned by the 2006 Memorandum on Defence Cooperation and the 2009 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. Following the agreement in 2014 of a bilateral Framework for Security Cooperation, the Defence relationship has grown to include a range of forums for strategic dialogue, as well as regular interactions between the Navies through visits of senior officers, Staff Talks and training exchanges. Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have been regularly interacting to enhance maritime cooperation. The third edition of bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX conducted in April 2019 in India, witnessed the largest ever participation from both navies.
Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy are partners in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), which is a maritime cooperation construct conceptualised by Indian Navy in 2008. Both the navies are also co-chairs for the IONS Working Group on Information Sharing and Inter-operability, for which the inaugural meeting was hosted by Australia in June 2019.
The visit to New Zealand is aimed to bolster defence cooperation between the two countries. India’s defence relations with New Zealand date back to the days of World War I. Naval cooperation activities between both the nations include port calls by warships, conduct of Passage Exercises and participation in courses conducted at various defence institutes. New Zealand has also been a regular participant of MILAN activities conducted by Indian Navy.
The visit would consolidate existing maritime cooperation initiatives as well as explore new avenues with Australia and New Zealand. During the visit, Admiral Karambir Singh, would also interact with his counter parts in Australia and New Zealand, as well as with other senior Defence and Government officials.