India and Australia on Monday joined the second 2+2 ministerial dialogue, focusing on strengthening defense cooperation and enhancing strategic ties. During this diplomatic engagement, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Delhi.
During the talks, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles acknowledged the shared history, democratic traditions and strategic alignment between India and Australia. He stressed the important timing of their cooperation, especially considering China being the two countries’ largest trading partner and security concerns.
“We are two countries that share history. We share democratic traditions. We share the rule of law and freedom of expression. We share this in a world where our strategic alignment is greater than ever. is big. For both of us, China is our largest trading partner, for both of us China is our biggest security concern. We share an ocean and in that sense, we are neighbors, and for both of our countries a There has never been a more important time to work together. And from our perspective, we cannot overstate the importance of this relationship,” said Marles.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh expressed optimism about the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Australia. He highlighted multifaceted cooperation in various fields such as defence, trade, education, science and technology and people-to-people relations. Singh stressed the important role of defense as the cornerstone of the strategic partnership, and expressed confidence in taking the cooperation to new heights. “I am sure that through today’s meeting we will move forward to take this partnership to the next level,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
At the bilateral meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar underlined the broader regional implications of stronger bilateral relations. They discussed the challenges posed by increasing global uncertainty and stressed the need for stability in the region amid these uncertainties. Jaishankar acknowledged the extraordinary year for India-Australia relations, noting milestones such as the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which came into force last December.
“When it comes to 2+2, I would like to put forward a few points for our collective consideration. One, our bilateral relations have certainly grown rapidly, but it has larger implications for the region and many other countries looking towards us. Let’s see. Our relations are in many ways a factor of stability and security. Second, this has come at a time when uncertainty is increasing in the world. We are seeing sharp polarization, deep tensions and today while it is important to ensure that That routine is to make the region feel safe. Therefore, we have to build and work for stability on a daily basis. Third, we face extraordinary challenges – some regional, some global, many of them involving the rule of law and “While the challenges are wide ranging for strategic partners, it is important to plan for those exceptions as well…Fourth, our partnership in the Quad format has been very beneficial to the Indo-Pacific region and our own bilateral relations,” he told ANI. According to said.
Pointing to the significant contribution of the Indian community and students in building a “living bridge” between the two countries, he said, “We can see today that the over one million strong Indian community and over 100,000 Indian students are truly our Create a living bridge between the two countries.”
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India, Australia partnership important for our region: Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong
As Marles expressed the importance of working together on maritime domain awareness and regional diplomacy, he also shared his admiration for the Indian cricket landscape, calling India the contemporary home of cricket.
“It was an incredible privilege for me to attend the game last night…I thank India and commend India for hosting an incredible tournament over the last 6 weeks. It showcased cricket to the world.. .In a contemporary sense, the home of cricket is now really in India. And I think for those of us who love cricket, the pilgrimage that we all want to do now is in this country. And that’s my It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for cricket to actually be played here in India. And the love that both our countries share for this game, I think, is emblematic of the state of our relationship,” said the Australian Deputy Prime Minister, who Had seen the ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad, said.
Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong highlighted the deep value of bilateral ties, emphasizing economic ties, trade, investment and people-to-people ties. He underlined the regional importance of the partnership and described India as central to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
He said, “This is a partnership that is consequential for us but it is important for our region. We see India as central, vital to the region for which we will continue to work – peaceful, stable, prosperous and where sovereignty is respected.”
The Australian representatives, Wong and Marles, paid tribute at the National War Memorial before the meeting, recognizing the long-standing military relationship between the two countries.
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