NEW DELHI: India and Australia’s 2+2 ministerial dialogue has taken place with India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar meeting their counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton to strengthen ties and cooperation.
Both the countries will focus on defence ties and work towards an accessible and inclusive Indo-Pacific and expand their mutual commitment against China’s aggressive policy. Australia has always been vocal about China’s aggression towards small nations and China’s hegemony in the South China Sea, which it claims to be its territory.
India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Peter Dutton stated that both the countries would take the security partnership to greater heights. India and Australia will also reflect their strategic sector by expanding military exchanges, logistics support, maritime security, combat exercises, and a mutual war against cybercrime and defence technology.
Both the nations have discussed growing terrorism and deteriorating human rights in Afghanistan, especially atrocities towards women, children with violence, rape, and attack towards minorities. India and Australia share the same vision to end trans-border terrorism in Afghanistan and other nations, affecting peace and stability in South Asia.
Australia and India have also agreed that the world must join hands together against terrorists and implement UN Security Council Resolution 2593, which states that any nation cannot use Afghan territory for terrorist activities and the Taliban must provide an inclusive and fair government for its citizens.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that both of us are keen to work jointly to realise the full potential of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This Partnership is based on our shared vision of a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.
Peter Dutton also stated that India’s leadership is crucial for a peaceful Indo-Pacific region and its vision, resources, and strategies to align with their sovereign interest. ‘We share one of the world’s most important oceans, we both want a stable, resilient and secure strategic neighborhood, and working closely together we can better achieve that. ‘
India and Australia’s mutual respect and goals have been witnessed in the quadrilateral Malabar Naval exercise held in the Western Pacific last month. The Quad nations India, Australia, Japan, and the US have their eyes on China’s wolf policy and have declared to prevent any “coercion” during the Quad summit in March.
India has also invited the Australian industry to fully benefit from India’s liberalised foreign direct investment policy in the defence sector. The 2+2 dialogue is the result because of the virtual summit in 2020. India-Australia admits that their diplomatic relations are at an all-time high level.