India key strategic partner: Australian minister

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) India is a strategic partner and Australia is keen on taking forward military ties with it, Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said on Wednesday.

At a conference at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, he said he does not see any direct threat from China’s activities in the South China Sea but wants China to make its “strategic interests clear”.

“India is a key strategic partner… Australia recognises that India had a central role in providing stability to the Indian ocean region,” he said.

The minister invited the India Air Force for an exercise in Australia.

Andrews is on a three-day visit to India. He will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

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