Navy Chief holds talks with Australian counterpart

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and his Australian counterpart Vice Admiral Mark Hammond on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks focusing on boosting bilateral military ties and reviewing the situation arising out of attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea by Houthi militants.
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and his Australian counterpart Vice Admiral Mark Hammond
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and his Australian counterpart Vice Admiral Mark Hammond

New Delhi | Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and his Australian counterpart Vice Admiral Mark Hammond on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks focusing on boosting bilateral military ties and reviewing the situation arising out of attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea by Houthi militants.

Hammond, the Chief of Royal Australian Navy, is on an official visit to India from April 2 to 6.

"The discussions focused on avenues to strengthen bilateral maritime cooperation, including increased operational engagements, training exchanges, and information sharing," the Indian Navy said.

People familiar with the talks said the two officials also deliberated on the situation in the Red Sea and its adjoining areas.

There have been mounting global concerns over Houthi militants targeting various merchant ships in the Red Sea in the last few months.

Ahead of his talks with Admiral Kumar, Hammond laid a ceremonial wreath at the National War Memorial. He was also accorded a Guard of Honour at the South Block in the Raisina Hills.

The visiting Australian naval commander is also scheduled to call on Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane.

Hammond will also be visiting the Southern Naval Command at Kochi and Western Naval Command in Mumbai.

"India and Australia share commonality of perspective on several contemporary maritime security issues in the Indo- Pacific and have been working together closely in several bilateral and multilateral fora," the Indian Navy said in a statement.

It said the visit by the Chief of Royal Australian Navy further consolidates the strong and long lasting bilateral relations between both navies.

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