New Delhi: In an indirect attack on China, India and Australia have advocated a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region. This shared vision came to the fore in the meeting held in the capital of the Defense Ministers of both the countries. In the meeting, the Defense Ministers of both the countries also discussed the current situation in Afghanistan.
On Friday, India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh took part in bilateral talks with his Australian counterpart Peter Dutton in the capital Delhi. Peter Dutton has come to India these days and will participate in the ‘two plus two’ meeting of both the countries on Saturday. In the two plus two meeting, there will be talks between the defense and foreign ministers of both the countries.
On his arrival in Delhi on Friday, Dutton was given a tri-service (commonly shared by the Army, Air Force and Navy) guard of honor at Vigyan Bhawan, India. According to the Defense Ministry, the Defense Ministers of both the countries held extensive discussions on bilateral defense cooperation as well as regional issues. This discussion also included the situation arising out of the Taliban’s ruling in Afghanistan.
In the meeting, India and Australia expressed their eagerness to work together to realize a greater strategic partnership. Discussed the expansion of bilateral defense cooperation and military programs in the services. India expressed happiness that now Australia has also started participating in Malabar, a joint exercise between the navies of India, America and Japan.
According to the Defense Ministry, during the discussions, the two countries emphasized on expanding bilateral defense cooperation and military ties in services, enhancing defense information exchange, cooperation in emerging defense technologies and mutual logistical assistance.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh invited Australian industry to take advantage of India’s liberal FDI policies during the talks.
Rajnath Singh welcomed Dutton on his first official visit to India, saying that his visit to India along with Australian Foreign Minister Maryse Payne reflects Australia’s commitment to strong and enduring bilateral ties with India, despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. On Saturday, Rajnath Singh will hold joint talks with Australian ministers (two plus two) with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.