The ‘Terms of Reference’ between India and Australia have been signed.

india australia have signed terms of reference

On September 29, 2021, India and Australia agreed on the terms of reference (ToR) for navy-to-navy discussions.
Highlights
The ToR is the first of its kind signed by the Indian Navy with another country. The Indian Navy’s Rear Admiral Jaswinder Singh and the Royal Australian Navy’s Rear Admiral Christopher Smith signed a document.
This ‘Joint Guidance’ paper establishes Navy-to-Navy discussions as the primary means of communication in the bilateral relationship.
ToR’s important facts
According to the deal, the ‘Joint Guidance for the India-Australia Navy to Navy Relationship’ will be used to conduct navy-to-navy discussions. This declaration will be necessary for cementing the Indo-Pacific region’s shared commitment to achieving security, peace, stability, and prosperity.
The ‘Joint Guidance’ document identifies Navy-to-Navy Talks as the principal guiding the bilateral relationship. Over the years, India and Australia’s bilateral defense ties have become more robust.
In 2005, the first Navy-to-Navy Talk with Australia took place. Since then, the two countries’ navies have grown closer at all levels, and after more than a decade of bilateral negotiations, they are more devoted than ever to strengthening and deepening this vital Navy-Navy partnership.
The goal of the ToR
The goal of the ToR Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement, the conduct of a trilateral Maritime Security Workshop, and the participation of the Australian Navy in Exercise MALABAR are all significant milestones that highlight the role played by both Navies in recent years in bolstering this relationship. The declaration will be critical in cementing the Indo-Pacific region’s united commitment to peace, security, stability, and development.
The ToR lays out several general goals to improve mutual understanding, trust, and transparency in bilateral meetings. It also aims to develop goodwill and mutual understanding of one another’s issues and future goals. It will give specific instructions on how the two countries should conduct their negotiations. The Terms of Reference also allow for flexibility in implementing individual agreements based on the unique outcomes of the negotiations.
Background
In 2005, the two countries had their first-ever Navy-to-Navy discussions. India and Australia have become closer since then. The Mutual Logistic Support Agreement, Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, trilateral Maritime Security Workshop, and Exercise MALABAR were also noted in the ToR statement as milestones in bilateral defense cooperation between India and Australia.

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