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India-Oz 2+2  focuses on West Asia, Quad


They met thrice in each other’s countries and twice elsewhere, said Jaishankar, during the India Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi. NEW DELHI:  External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Monday said Prime Ministers of India and Australia have met five times this year which speaks volumes for the relationship between the two countries.

They met thrice in each other’s countries and twice elsewhere, said Jaishankar, during the India Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi. “We have had our first-ever annual summit in March. The Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) entered into force in December 2022 as we are seeing its economic implications are noticed now in case of trade increase. Migration and mobility partnership has fortified the relationship. There are over one million community and 1,00,000 students in Australia. In 2+2, our bilateral relations has grown rapidly,’’ he said. The present dialogue has happened at a time when there is sharper polarisation and deeper stresses in the world.

“We face challenges – regional and global – where rule of law is challenged. Important to plan for those exceptions, including in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). Quad partnership has been beneficial for Indo-Pacific and our own bilateral relationship. We also have trilaterals with Indonesia and France,” he added. The meeting was attended by Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from the Indian side, and foreign minister Penny Wong and Deputy PM and Defence Minister Richard Marles from the Australian side. 

“I had a very good meeting with Richard Marles. We spoke about the recent developments that influence Indo-Pacific strategic scenario and also exchanged views on West Asia. And yes we also discussed yesterdays match – Congratulations Australia,” said Jaishankar after meeting Richard Marles earlier on Monday. Penny Wong, Australian Foreign Minister said Australia India relationship has never been more consequential.  Wong also had a separate meeting with policy leaders and discussed gender equality in foreign trade and development policy.

 “The aspirations we champion in our region – peace, stability, prosperity – can only be achieved if we continue to see progress in gender equalty,” said Wong. Defence ministers review air-to-air refuel facilities Adding fillip to the existing defence relationship, the Defence Ministers of India and Australia in a bilateral meeting on Monday discussed arrangement towards air-to-air refuelling of their aircraft.  The Ministry of Defence said, “Both ministers underscored the importance to further enhance cooperation in information exchange and maritime domain awareness between the two countries. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles in New Delhi on Monday. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

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