Australian Foreign, Defence Ministers meet PM Modi
The shared commitment of India and Australia to a rules-based international order and an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific was discussed when Australian foreign and defence ministers met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the shared commitment was discussed at the meeting.
Mr. Payne and Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton met Mr. Modi after holding the inaugural ‘two-plus-two’ dialogue with their Indian counterparts S. Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh.
“Australia & India are longstanding partners. In our meeting with Prime Minister @narendramodi, we discussed our nations’ shared commitment to a rules-based international order, an open, inclusive & resilient IndoPacific & strengthening the Australia-India economic relationship,” Mr. Payne tweeted.
In the ‘two-plus-two’ talks, the two sides vowed to work towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, a region that has been witnessing increasing Chinese assertiveness.
“The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to the Australian dignitaries for the productive discussions during the 2+2 dialogue, pointing out that this was a sign of growing strategic convergence between both countries,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
It said a number of issues were discussed during the meeting, including possibilities of further expanding bilateral strategic and economic cooperation, the common approach of both countries towards the Indo-Pacific region, and the growing importance of the Indian community in Australia as a human-bridge between both sides.
“The Prime Minister conveyed his appreciation for the role that Prime Minister Scott Morrison, has played, in rapidly advancing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership instituted between both countries last year. He renewed his invitation to Prime Minister Morrison to visit India at his earliest convenience,” it said.
After the ‘2+2’ dialogue, Mr. Jaishankar said it reflected the comfort that both sides have attained in the bilateral relationship, especially in strategic and security spheres.
“The peaceful development of the Indo-Pacific region has been a focus of our relationship. Our two countries believe that it should be shaped in a participative and collaborative manner,” he said.
The External Affairs Minister said both sides reiterated their commitment to continue to work together for peace, stability and prosperity of all countries in the region.
“This would include a rules-based international order, freedom of navigation in international waters, promoting connectivity as well as respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states,” he said.