India, Australia hold 2+2 ministerial dialogues, discuss Afghanistan situation and maritime security

Mumbai: India on Saturday held the first-ever 2+2 ministerial dialogues where External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh met their Australian counterparts Defense Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Marise Payne in New Delhi to discuss various issues including maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region and the ongoing Afghanistan crisis after the Taliban takeover over the region. The leaders from both sides discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and the formation of the new Taliban government. India and Australia are allies in the Indo-Pacific region and both nations have a very crucial relationship and believe in a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

Both nations agree upon China’s expansionism policy and its maritime activities which could have a major impact on other nations including India. “The 2+2 dialogue signifies the importance of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. As two democracies we have a common interest in peace and prosperity of the entire region,” Rajnath Singh said after a thorough discussion.

The 2+2 dialogue also focused on the bilateral relationship between India and Australia and highlighted that there is a need for free flow of trade, adherence to international rules and norms for sustainable economic growth in the region. “We have discussed various institutional frameworks for wide-ranging collaboration including defense 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,” said the Indian Defense Minister

Meanwhile, Peter Dutton and Rajnath Singh discussed defense cooperation and expanding military engagements to ease sharing of defense information to help each other and the world under the bilateral relationship. Both countries admit that the diplomatic ties between the two nations have increased over the years and it is now at an all-time high which will benefit both while choosing to work closely. “In the context of Defence Cooperation, both sides were glad to note continued participation of Australia in the Malabar Exercises.

We invited Australia to engage India’s growing defense industry and to collaborate in co-production and co-development of defense equipment,” Singh said.

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Published on: Saturday, September 11, 2021, 07:34 PM IST

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