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Australian, Indian MoDs Sign Information-Sharing Agreement

Australia’s defence relationship with India has been further strengthened by the signing of an Information Sharing Arrangement between our two countries.

India’s Defence Minister Mr A. K. Antony and I last night witnessed the signing of the Arrangement in New Delhi by Australia’s High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr John McCarthy, and the Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Defence Mr Shekhar Dutt.

The Information Sharing Arrangement will facilitate the sharing of classified information between the two countries’ defence organisations, giving effect to the intent of the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation, signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to India in March 2006 – especially in the agreed priority areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping.

In particular, the Arrangement will help facilitate increased practical cooperation between Australia and India by allowing the sharing of maritime security data. It will also assist information sharing on dealing with fragile states, and enable Australia to benefit from India’s considerable experience in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

This Arrangement reflects our shared interest in helping address challenges to security and stability in the Asia Pacific region, where transnational problems, such as piracy, people smuggling and natural disasters, require a coordinated approach.

The Arrangement will support more comprehensive exercises and associated planning, enabling our forces to work together more closely in activities ranging from peacekeeping cooperation to operations potentially requiring higher-end combat skills.

The signing of the Arrangement marks another significant step forward in out two countries' defence relationship, and I thank Mr Antony for his efforts in progressing the Arrangement.

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Australia and India Sign Defence Information Sharing Arrangement