India and Australia highlight need for peace, security, and prosperity of Indo-Pacific region
The second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, held in New Delhi on Monday (November 20, 2023), provided both sides a good opportunity to discuss the growing convergences in critical spheres like defence and security.
The two sides also highlighted the need for peace, security, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar from India. Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong represented Australia.
"Joined RM @rajnathsingh ji in co-hosting the second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial dialogue. 
Thank DPM @RichardMarlesMP and FM @SenatorWong for an open and productive exchange of views. 
Took stock of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and our growing convergences, especially in the defence, security and maritime domains. They work for the larger benefit of the region. 
Shared perspectives on developments in the Indo-Pacific, West Asia, South Asia and Ukraine. 
Spoke also about our contribution to addressing regional and global needs. Will explore working together in third countries," EAM Jaishankar posted on social media platform X. 
Defence Minister Singh said that a strong India-Australia partnership augurs well for peace, security, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
“Attended a comprehensive India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Meeting. There is a consensus on both the sides that a strong India-Australia partnership augurs well for overall peace, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. India looks forward to continue working with Australia to take our bilateral relationship onwards and upwards,” he said on X.
Singh and Marles also had a bilateral meeting where they reaffirmed their commitment towards further strengthening the defence relations between India and Australia. They also reviewed the increasing military-to-military cooperation between the two countries, including joint exercises.
"Excellent meeting with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Mr. @RichardMarlesMP in New Delhi today. We had wide-ranging discussions on a number of issues pertaining to strengthening our bilateral strategic engagements. I am confident India-Australia partnership will scale newer heights in the times to come," Defence Minister Singh said on X.
On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Foreign Minister Wong met for the 14th India-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue. The ministers discussed, among other issues, their commitment to building more trusted, reliable, and resilient supply chains in the Indo-Pacific for broader and inclusive growth.
Additionally, they highlighted the importance of moving ahead with the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Foreign Minister Wong also discussed the way forward for greater mobility of students and professionals.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Wong, EAM Jaishankar pointed out that India had a 2+2 framework with select countries and said, "It is reflective of the growing and deepening engagement between our two countries".
Ahead of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Marles expressed the importance of the bilateral relationship, stating, “India is a top-tier security partner for Australia, and our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is one of practical, tangible actions that directly benefit the Indo-Pacific region.” He also highlighted key achievements in defense cooperation, including the Indian submarine visit to Perth and Australia’s participation in Exercise Malabar.
Marles further emphasized, “Our cooperation with India is at the heart of Australia’s approach to ensuring the Indo-Pacific remains open, inclusive, and resilient.”
Echoing the sentiments of collaboration and regional stability, Foreign Affairs Minister Wong remarked, “Australia is committed to partnering with India more closely for the benefit of our region, in the Indian Ocean, in Southeast Asia, and in the Pacific.”