India and Australia will meet
India and Australia will meet to discuss

India and Australia will meet | A 2+2 Dialogue

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar will meet with Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong in New Delhi today for the second India-Australia two plus two Dialogue. The Ministers are anticipated to talk about a variety of strategic, defense, and security concerns. These discussions will address bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual concern, with the goal of furthering collaboration under the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both parties will also discuss common goals for enhancing minilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Raksha Mantri is also set to meet with his counterpart, who last visited India in June of last year, just a few weeks after taking office. On November 21, Dr. Jaishankar and his Australian counterpart will convene the 14th Foreign Ministerial Framework Dialogue to assess cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. They will also discuss regional and global topics of mutual concern.

On Monday in New Delhi, Australia and India are scheduled to have talks aimed at strengthening their defense, security, and strategic cooperation.

According to a statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Australia’s defense minister Richard Marles and foreign minister Penny Wong came to meet with their counterparts for the second India-Australia 2+2 Dialogue, where they are scheduled to address regional and global concerns.

The statement added, “Both sides will also share views on common priorities for enhancing minilateral and multilateral cooperation.”

Welcome to Australia, FM @SenatorWong, who is in New Delhi to co-chair the 2nd India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and the 14th Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue. A packed schedule of discussions on many aspects of the India-Australia alliance awaits.” MEA spokeswoman Arindam Bagchi made the announcement on X (previously Twitter).

Meanwhile, Richard Marles, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, has arrived in India for the 2+2 conversation.

The meeting will be co-chaired by the two Australian leaders and their Indian equivalents, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Earlier, he had stated that “India is a top-tier security partner for Australia and our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is one of practical, tangible actions that directly benefit the Indo-Pacific region” .

According to the Australian Foreign Ministry, this year has seen a number of firsts in the India-Australia defense relationship, including an Indian submarine visit to Perth and Australia’s hosting of Exercise Malabar. Marles added that all of this demonstrates the growing closeness of both nations’ defense and security partnerships.

The ministers will strengthen collaboration on their common regional interests, including defense, security, renewable energy, and technology, according to the statement.

India and Australia are actively negotiating a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) to expand on the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) agreed in April 2022.

Marles, who is also the deputy prime minister, will represent the Australian government in the ICC Cricket World Cup final on Sunday evening, when Australia will face India.

“India is a top-tier security partner for Australia and our comprehensive strategic partnership is one of practical, tangible actions that directly benefit the Indo-Pacific region,” Marles told reporters in advance of the trip.

According to the Australian statement, the 2+2 ministerial conversation is a cornerstone of the bilateral relationship, with relationships between the two nations “never being more consequential.” Both nations are cooperating through the comprehensive strategic cooperation, as Quad partners and beyond, to achieve a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

“The India-Australia partnership is central to the stability and prosperity of our shared region,” Wong went on to say. “Along with our deepening defence and security cooperation, Australia is committed to partnering with India more closely for the benefit of our region, in the Indian Ocean, in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific.”

Only a few nations have 2+2 ministerial conversations with India, notably the United States, Japan, and Russia. On November 10, the latest iteration of the India-US 2+2 discussion was conducted in New Delhi.

Following his engagements in India, Marles will go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for discussions with his peers on November 21-22. This will be an Australian defence minister’s first visit to the area in five years, as part of the country’s attempts to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from expanding.

Regional significance

The Quad grouping, which includes India, Australia, Japan, and the United States, has launched various regional projects, including the Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) effort for the benefit of the whole area. According to sources, the implementation of the IPMDA, which is presently being worked on, would be reviewed at the highest level during the Quad summit.

“Along with our deepening defence and security cooperation, Australia is committed to partnering with India more closely for the benefit of our region, in the Indian Ocean, in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific,” Ms. Wang said in advance of the meeting.

Conclusion

Mr. Marles will depart from India for the United Arab Emirates, marking the first visit to the area by an Australian Defence Minister in five years and the first by the Deputy Prime Minister. According to the Australian statement, this sends a vital signal that Australia is dedicated to West Asian stability and supports the continued efforts of international allies, particularly the UAE, to prevent the Hamas-Israel conflict from spreading.