(MENAFN) In a significant diplomatic development, the second India-Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue took place in New Delhi on Monday, aiming to deepen defense ties and strategic relations between the two nations. The high-level meeting brought together key representatives, with India being represented by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and Australia being represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
The agenda for the closed-door discussions encompassed a broad spectrum of areas, reflecting the comprehensive nature of the bilateral relationship. The Indian Foreign Ministry outlined the topics for deliberation, including defense and security, trade and investment, critical minerals, energy, climate change, as well as discussions on regional conflicts and global issues.
Prior to the extended talks, Jaishankar highlighted the importance of the meeting by emphasizing the significance of "deepening ties" between the two nations. The leaders aimed to exchange views on recent developments shaping the Indo-Pacific strategic landscape and also engaged in discussions on events in the Middle East. Marles, who arrived in India on Sunday, initially attended the cricket World Cup final match between India and Australia, which India won.
Foreign Minister Wong underscored the growing significance of the relationship between India and Australia, stating that it has never been "more consequential." Ahead of the official discussions, Wong and Marles visited the National War Memorial to pay respects to those who sacrificed their lives.
In the context of the evolving strategic partnership, Defense Minister Singh emphasized that defense has become a crucial pillar of the India-Australia relationship. During the 2+2 ministerial dialogue, Singh emphasized that the collaborative efforts between the two countries would not only benefit them directly but also contribute to the overall peace, security, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
The outcomes of the dialogue are anticipated to shape the trajectory of India-Australia relations, enhancing collaboration across various domains and fostering a strategic partnership that holds significant implications for regional stability and global cooperation. As both nations navigate geopolitical complexities, the strengthened ties forged during this dialogue are poised to contribute to the broader goals of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
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