The Australia-India relationship witnessed many firsts this year, EAM Jaishankar says
2023 has been a defining year for the deep friendship between India and Australia, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said on Friday (November 24, 2023).
In a virtual address at the 6th Australia-India Leadership Dialogue (AILD), he also emphasized the rapid growth in engagement since the announcement of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in June 2020. 
Joined by his Australian counterpart, Foreign Minister Penny Wong, EAM Jaishankar applauded the AILD for being a pivotal Track 1.5 engagement platform, bringing together influential individuals from both nations.
Describing this year as a defining one for the India-Australia 'dosti' (friendship), EAM Jaishankar said, "We have witnessed many firsts'.
He referred to the First Annual Leaders’ Summit, two visits to India by Australia’s Prime Minister, entry into force of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), and record high bilateral trade. He also talked about the establishment of a Little India in Sydney, new Consulates General in Bengaluru and Brisbane, more flight connections, Australian university campuses in India, 
and agreements on mutual recognition of educational qualifications and migration mobility.
External Affairs Minister Jaishankar additionally voiced the deepening comprehensive strategic partnership during the 14th Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue. This included reviewing initiatives following the first annual summit between the Prime Ministers of both countries in May 2023, and reflecting on their reciprocal visits, notably Prime Minister Albanese's visit to India in September for the G20 summit.
Also emphasized was the 2nd India-Australia 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministers Dialogue as indicative of the growing engagement between the two nations. A central discussion point was the commitment to developing more trusted, reliable, and resistant supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region. Both countries reaffirmed their dedication to a free, open, inclusive, prosperous, and rules-based Indo-Pacific, rooted in the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The dialogue extended beyond bilateral matters to include regional and global issues. The ministers discussed various geopolitical dynamics, including the situations in West Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the larger Indo-Pacific region. This demonstrates a comprehensive approach to understanding and engaging with current global challenges.
EAM Jaishankar also mentioned the strong bipartisan support in both countries, vital for the success of this 21st-century partnership. The bilateral frameworks cover extensive areas such as defense, cyber technology, trade, science, and education, with cricket being a unique unifying factor.
A significant part of the relationship is the shared understanding of the Indo-Pacific region’s geo-strategic environment. The AILD theme "Bridges of Bharosa” reflects the trust and cooperation between India and Australia, aiming to secure a peaceful, prosperous Indo-Pacific region and uphold a rules-based international order.
The theme "Skill for Success” was also highlighted, focusing on the potential of India's skilled workforce to meet Australia's needs. India's External Affairs Minister stressed the possibilities for deeper economic integration and the creation of new supply chains between the two nations.
EAM Jaishankar expressed his gratitude to Minister Wong for her visit to India and accepted an invitation to visit Australia for a significant event scheduled for the following year.