Australia and India discussed the current crisis in Afghanistan, maritime security and cooperation in multilateral format on Saturday in New Delhi. On Saturday, India hosted the first ever 2+2 ministerial dialog in New Delhi with Australia. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister and Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister, met with Australian counterparts Peter Dutton, Moreign Minister Marise Penny and discussed the Afghan crisis resulting from the Taliban takeover.
After a detailed discussion on bilateral and regional matters, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that the 2+2 dialog signifies the importance the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Australia and India share an important partnership that is based upon a common vision of a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. He said that as two democracies, we share a common interest to ensure peace and prosperity in the region.
Singh stated, “We discussed different institutional frameworks for wide-ranging collaboration including defense cooperation and fight against global panademics. We discussed Afghanistan, Maritime Security and Cooperation in Multilateral Formats, and other related topics.
Both sides stressed the importance of ensuring free trade and adherence to international norms and sustainable economic growth throughout the region during the discussions.
Singh stated that the two countries have agreed to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation. He also said that they will facilitate greater defense information sharing, increase military engagements across all services, and work closely together for mutual logistic support.
“Both sides were happy to see Australia’s continued participation in the Malabar Exercises, within the framework of Defence Cooperation. He said that Australia was invited to participate in India’s expanding defence industry and to co-produce and develop defence equipment.
The 2+2 dialogue was established as a result of the decision at the India-Australia leaders’ virtual summit in June 2020 to raise bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partner. Both Australia and India admit that bilateral diplomatic relations are at an all time high.