Perth: With growing global stakes in the resource-rich Indian Ocean, India has asked for closer cooperation with Australia in boosting greater trade and security cooperation among countries of the region. “India and Australia view the Indian Ocean as a potential area for greater cooperation among the countries of the region,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said in Perth weeks before India assumes the chair of the 18-nation Indian Ocean Rim – Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC).
Australia will take over as the vice-chair of this crucial regional association. “We have to work closely together to realise the potential of IOR-ARC and also to transform it into an active and vibrant forum,” Krishna said here Wednesday.
He invited Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to visit Bangalore, India’s IT hub, which will host the 11th IOR-ARC Council of Ministers Meeting. Krishna was in Perth to attend the meeting of foreign ministers of the 54-nation Commonwealth.
The IOR-ARC includes countries stretching from South Africa in the west to Australia in the east. China, Japan, Egypt, France and Britain have the status of dialogue partners in the grouping.