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Press Trust Of India
Melbourne, November 09, 2012
Australia is keen to expand its defence ties with India and develop maritime security architecture with the Asian giant in the strategic Indian Ocean region.
Australian defence minister Stephen Smith who met visiting West Bengal Governor and former National Security Advisor MK Narayanan in Sydney on Wednesday discussed expansion of security and defence ties with India.

The talks focused on shared strategic and security interests, including maritime security, co-operation in the Indian Ocean and regional security, The Australian reported.

Smith said Australia and India were each committed to promoting regional and global security and shared a common commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

"We are jointly leading efforts to further develop the regional security architecture of the Indian Ocean, with a particular focus on maritime security," Smith said in a statement.

Earlier, speaking at the annual Asia-Pacific Chiefs of Defence Force Conference in Sydney, Smith said Indian Ocean would eventually become a crucial global trading thoroughfare.

The Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean Rim will become the world's strategic centre of gravity as growth in the region accelerates and the US rebalances to the Asia-Pacific, he was quoted as saying by Sky News.