India and Australia sealed an accord yesterday to grant access to each other's military bases in order to facilitate mutual defence exchanges and exercises. The agreement - known as the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement - was reached during a virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia's premier Scott Morrison. The accord allows military ships and aircraft to refuel and access maintenance facilities, and is widely seen as being part of a broader strategy by democracies in the region to counter China's military and economic weight. India has already signed similar agreements with the US, France and Singapore. Besides the MLSA, the other pacts signed will provide for bilateral cooperation in areas of cyber security, mining and minerals, military technology, vocational education and water resources management. In the talks, the two sides also deliberated on a host of key issues including threat of terrorism, maritime security challenges, reform in the World Trade Organisation.