India-Australia 2+2 dialogue: Views on Afghanistan, Maritime Security exchanged

India-Australia 2+2 dialogue: Views on Afghanistan, Maritime Security exchanged

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said it was a great honour and pleasure to receive both the ministers from Australia for the inaugural 2+2 India – Australia Ministerial Dialogue.

Rajnath Singh said, "The 2+2 dialogue signifies the importance of the India – Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. India and Australia share an important partnership that is based on a shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. As two democracies we have a common interest in the peace and prosperity of the entire region."

The Defence Minister had an in-depth and wide-ranging discussion with Minister Payne and Minister Dutton on bilateral and regional issues. They discussed various institutional frameworks for wide-ranging collaboration including defence cooperation and the fight against the global pandemic.

"We exchanged views on Afghanistan, Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific, cooperation in multilateral formats and other related topics," said Rajnath Singh.

During the discussions, both sides emphasised the need to ensure free flow of trade, adherence to international rules and norms and sustainable economic growth in the entire region.

"On the bilateral defence cooperation, we decided to expand military engagements across services, facilitate greater defence information sharing and work closely for mutual logistic support," he added.

In the context of Defence Cooperation, both sides were glad to note the continued participation of Australia in the Malabar Exercises. Rajnatah Singh invited Australia to engage India’s growing defence industry and to collaborate in the co-production and co-development of defence equipment.