Lauding significant progress in the defence engagements between India and Australia based on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that both the countries are exploring new areas in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned vehicles. Speaking at India-Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue which is underway in New Delhi, Singh said, “During virtual leader’s summit talks in June 2020 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, we reached Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This shows how close we are.”

This partnership is based on the shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region. Both, Australia and India have tremendous stakes in peace, development and free flow of trade, rules-based order and economic growth in the region. Lauding significant progress in the bilateral relations between India-Australia, Singh added, “We are happy to witness significant progress in the bilateral relations between India-Australia. The interoperability between our defence engagements has seen a significant increase. In bilateral and multilateral engagements, due to joint exercises, the synergies and complexities in our armed forces have increased.”

He also said that the two countries are exploring new areas in the field of artificial intelligence and unmanned vehicles and thanked the Australian delegation for visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are exploring new areas in the development of artificial intelligence, and unmanned vehicles. Your visit to India in the times of COVID-19 shows our strong ties. I am hopeful for engaging and fruitful talks.” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Australia Defence Minister Peter Dutton participated in the meeting.