New Delhi: After a successful India-US 2+2 ministerial, New Delhi will host the 2nd India-Australia 2+2 Defence and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue on Monday, November 20. This comes on the heels of the cricket World Cup finals between India and Australia on Sunday, 19 Nov, which according to sources, will be attended by the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles.
After the match, both sides will discuss the future of the bilateral ties. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will hold the second India-Australia 2+2 Defence and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Australia Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong on 20 November in New Delhi.
During the second 2+2 Dialogue, the Ministers are expected to discuss a wide range of strategic, defense, and security issues. These discussions would cover bilateral, regional, and global matters of mutual interest, to further advance cooperation under the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both sides will also exchange views on shared priorities for strengthening multilateral and multilateral cooperation.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is also scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles who had last visited India in June 2022 within a few weeks of assuming his present office.
External Affairs Minister and Foreign Minister Wong will hold the 14th Foreign Ministerial Framework Dialogue (FMFD) on 21 November, Tuesday to take stock of cooperation under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
The inaugural India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue was held on 11 September last year in New Delhi according to the elevation of the Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the first Virtual Summit held on 4 June 2020.
What is the 2+2 India-Australia Ministerial Dialogue?
The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is aimed at further ramping up the overall defense and strategic cooperation between the two countries, including in the Indo-Pacific amid China’s increasing military assertiveness in the region. The defense and military cooperation between India and Australia has witnessed an upswing in the last few years and has a vast scope for expansion.
Officially announcing the Australian ministers' visit to New Delhi for the 2+2 ministerial dialogue, a statement from the Australian government's Defence wing, said, “The Australia–India relationship has never been more consequential. We are working together through our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as Quad partners and beyond to promote a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region".
The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a cornerstone of our relationship and an opportunity to progress our work together to shape the type of region we want. Ministers will advance cooperation on our shared regional interests, including in defense, security, renewable energy,y, and technology. They will also discuss deepening trade and investment ties", the statement read.
The Deputy Prime Minister will represent the Australian Government at the ICC World Cup on Sunday evening, where Australia will take on India in the final. It is pertinent to note that this is the first visit to the region by an Australian Defence Minister in five years and the first visit by the Deputy Prime Minister.
“This sends an important signal that Australia remains committed to Middle East stability. Australia supports the ongoing efforts of international partners, including the UAE, to prevent the Hamas-Israel conflict from spreading”, the statement read.