India, Australia Conclude Mutual Logistics Support Agreement For Greater Defence Cooperation

India and Australia have concluded discussions on the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement which gives reciprocal access to military facilities for logistics support. The agreement between both nations could be signed when Australian PM Scott Morrison visits New Delhi in January.

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The proposed Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) figured in the third “2+2” or combined dialogue of the Indian and Australian foreign and defence secretaries in New Delhi on Monday, HT quoted sources.

“It’s almost done and there are a few things that need to be done out by the bureaucracies on both sides. We expect the pact will be signed during the PMs visit in January when he will address the Raisina Dialogue and hold a meeting with PM Modi,” HT quoted sources.

The sources said one of the biggest achievements in the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement between India and Australia was New Delhi’s accepting a larger role in the Indo-Pacific.

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“There’s no downside to this. It will boost cooperation between the two sides in security, defence, counter-terrorism and trade,” said a second person who too declined to be named.

With joint military drills and defence pacts between India and Australia accelerating, the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement will remove the need for protracted negotiations for reciprocal access to logistics support every time a manoeuvre is held, the people said. Monday’s dialogue briefly discussed the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan through the Kashmir issue didn’t come up, the people said.