Barely a month after India and Australia along with the US and Japan, discussed cooperation amid evolving security scenarios in the Indo-Pacific region where China has been aggressively expanding its military presence, the two nations have reviewed bilateral ties with a focus on strategic and defence relations during their first ‘2+2 dialogue’. Australia and India have agreed that a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific is in the long-term interests of all countries in the region.
While India already has a ‘2+2 dialogue’ with Japan, it has also agreed to start a two-by-two ministerial dialogue to enhance “peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region”.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra led the talks from the Indian side, while the Australian side was headed by Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson, and Secretary of Department of Defence Greg Moriarty.
Last month, officials from India, Japan, the US and Australia held consultations on the sidelines of the India-ASEAN meet and discussed issues of common interest in the Indo-Pacific region with a focus on cooperation based on converging vision.