India and Australia on Monday began a top-level ministerial dialogue to discuss “bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest.”
Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar began the second India-Australia 2+2 Defense and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Monday evening.
This is the second edition of the dialogue, after the inaugural dialogue held in September 2021.
“During the second 2+2 Dialogue, the Ministers are expected to discuss a wide range of strategic, defense, and security issues. These discussions would … further advance cooperation under the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” the ministry said last week. “Both sides will also exchange views on shared priorities for strengthening minilateral and multilateral cooperation.”
Before the joint dialogue, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles met Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, while he also separately met with Indian counterpart Singh.
India and Australia have shared a “comprehensive strategic partnership” since June 2020, and defense is a “key pillar of this partnership.”
India is Australia’s sixth largest trading partner with two-way trade in goods and services valued at $46.5 billion in 2022. Both are members of a regional group known as the Quad.
“India and Australia’s partnership is based on a shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. The two democracies have a common interest in peace and prosperity of the entire region,” the Indian government said earlier this year.
Source : aa