November 23, 2023
NEW DELHI – Ahead of the ‘2+2’ ministerial dialogue between the two countries on Monday, Australia has said its cooperation with India is at the heart of its approach to ensuring the Indo-Pacific remains open, inclusive and resilient. “India is a top-tier security partner for Australia and our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is one of practical, tangible actions that directly benefit the IndoPacific region,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said.
“This year has seen a number of firsts in our defence relationship, including an Indian submarine visit to Perth and Australia’s hosting of Exercise Malabar, demonstrating the growing closeness of our defence and security partnership,” he said. Mr Marles and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong will hold the ‘2+2′ ministerial dialogue with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi tomorrow. In a statement, the Australian government said the Australia–India relationship has never been more consequential.
“We are working together through our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as Quad partners and beyond to promote a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” it added. Canberra said the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a cornerstone of the bilateral relationship and an opportunity to progress their work together to shape the type of region the two nations want. The ministers on the two sides will advance cooperation on their shared regional interests, including in defence, security, renewable energy and technology.
They will also discuss deepening trade and investment ties. The two sides will discuss ways to continue driving forward the Australia–India defence relationship and discuss the shared challenges facing the region. Australian Foreign Minister Wong will also meet her counterpart Jaishankar for the long-standing annual Australia~India Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue. Ms Wong, meanwhile, said: “The India–Australia partnership is central to the stability and prosperity of our shared region.”
“Along with our deepening defence and security cooperation, Australia is committed to partnering with India more closely for the benefit of our region, in the Indian Ocean, in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific.”