India, Australia to step up anti-terror cooperation

India, Australia to step up anti-terror cooperation

New Delhi: In an effort to impart dynamism to their ties, India and Australia have decided to take their relationship to the strategic partnership level as they agreed to work closely on security matters by creating a comprehensive framework in this field.

During the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd here, the two sides decided to enhance cooperation in combating terrorism through agency-level cooperation and boost trade by expediting efforts to put in place a free trade agreement.

The two countries also decided to cooperate closely on other matters like energy, climate change, sports, water and science and technology.

As Rudd wound up his two-day visit here, India and Australia issued a joint declaration on security cooperation entailing collaboration in areas like counter-terrorism, defence, disarmament, maritime security and non-proliferation.

To give expression to the expansion and dynamism of our bilateral ties, we have agreed to take the relationship to the level of a strategic partnership, a joint statement issued on Friday said.

Affirming that the strategic partnership between India and Australia is based on a shared desire to promote, regional and global security, the declaration underlined the common commitment of the two sides to fight terrorism and other trans-national and organised crimes.