India-Australia ‘2+2’ Dialogue | Discussed Afghanistan, Maritime Security In Indo-Pacific: Rajnath Singh

At the inaugural two-plus-two talks between India and Australia, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh discussed with his Australian counterpart Afghanistan, maritime security in Indo-Pacific, and cooperation in multilateral formats, among other related topics.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

India and Australia began their first high-level 2+2 foreign and defence ministerial dialogue in New Delhi on September 11. The India-Australia bilateral talks were attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton. At the inaugural two-plus-two talks between India and Australia, Singh discussed with his Australian counterpart Afghanistan issue, maritime security in Indo-Pacific, and cooperation in multilateral formats, among other related topics.

The top ministers of the two nations also spoke about ensuring free flow of trade, adherence to international rules, and sustainable economic growth in the entire region. Speaking at the bilateral event, Singh said on September 11: “The 2+2 dialogue signifies the importance of the India – Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. India and Australia share an important partnership that is based on a shared vision of free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

As two democracies we have a common interest in peace and prosperity of the entire region.” He added: “Today we have had in-depth and wide-ranging discussion with Minister Payne and Minister Dutton on bilateral and regional issues. We have discussed various institutional frameworks for wide-ranging collaboration including defence cooperation and fight against the global pandemic.

We exchanged views on Afghanistan, Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific, cooperation in multilateral formats and other related topics.” The defence minister further said that “on the bilateral defence cooperation we decided to expand military engagements across services, facilitate greater defence information sharing and to work closely for mutual logistic support.” Singh said Australia has been invited to collaborate in the co-production and co-development of defence equipment.

“Dr Jaishankar and I thank both the Australian ministers for their visit to India despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Both the sides agreed to continue the high-level engagements to build a strong and robust partnership,” he added.

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