A two plus two dialogue was agreed upon during the first virtual Leaders’ Summit between India and Australia in June 2020

Developments in Afghanistan would be an important subject of discussion, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said while expressing his happiness for the commencement of two plus two Dialogue at Ministerial level between India and Australia.

“I am delighted that we are able to commence the 2+2 Dialogue at Ministers’ level, because, this is actually a format of discussion that we have with a very few countries,” EAM S Jaishankar said in his opening remarks at the first India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

The EAM said this meeting is taking place at “a very crucial time” when along with a pandemic there is a geo-political environment in the Indo-Pacific region that is rapidly changing.

“We are meeting at a very crucial time when, along with a pandemic we have a geo-political environment which is in rapid flux and we must, bilaterally and with other like-minded partners, respond adequately to safeguard our national interests as well as ensure a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” Jaishankar said.

He said the two plus two dialogue offered the two countries an opportunity to review and take forward the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as “we prepare for another meeting between our Prime Ministers later this month in the United States.”

He maintained that a two plus two dialogue at the ministerial level was agreed upon during the first virtual Leaders’ Summit between India and Australia in June 2020.

Earlier the EAM welcomed Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Defence Minister Peter Dutton and other members of the Australian delegation for travelling in person to participate in the two plus two dialogue, which is seen as a corollary of India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.