In an effort to impart dynamism to their ties, India [ Images ] and Australia [ Images ] have decided to take their relationship to a 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 [ Images ] and his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd [ Images ] in New Delhi [ Images ], 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, 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," said a Joint Statement issued on Friday.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.