Australia to launch 7-nation Indian Ocean military exercises, starting in Sri Lanka
Australia will launch a seven-nation Indian Ocean military exercise next week. It will start in Sri Lanka where China has invested in strategic ports and loaned huge amounts to build other infrastructure, AFP reports. Some 1,000 Australian security personnel in four naval ships and a military aircraft will participate in the biggest joint exercise yet with their Sri Lankan counterparts, Canberra’s top envoy in Colombo, Jon Philp, said on Friday. “Sri Lanka and Australia are increasingly like-minded on maritime security and Indian Ocean issues,” Philp said, adding that the two countries will improve defense cooperation. Australian forces will move to India on March 26 and thereafter travel to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore before returning to Darwin after two and a half months.