New Delhi: Emphasising that defence, in particular, has become one of the most important pillars of the India-Australia strategic partnership, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday stressed that the partnership will not just mutually be beneficial but for the overall peace, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.
While addressing the second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial dialogue in New Delhi, Rajnath Singh emphasised that the cooperation between both countries has been consistently deepening as well as diversifying.
“The India-Australia partnership will work well not just for the mutual benefit of both our countries but also for the overall peace, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
Further, noting the 2+2 Ministerial meeting held in 2021, he added, “Cooperation between our two countries has been consistently deepening as well as diversifying more so since our inaugural 2+2 Ministerial meeting in New Delhi in August 2021.”
Moreover, the Defence Minister highlighted that India and Australia have seen an upward trajectory, whether in the fields of defence, trade, education, science and technology, or people-to-people ties.
“Whether it is defence, trade, education, science and technology, or our people-to-people ties, we continue to see an upward trajectory across all spheres of our bilateral cooperation. There is a consensus on both sides that is strong,” he stated.
Rajnath Singh also thanked Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles for their visit to New Delhi to attend the second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial dialogue.
“I thank you for travelling to New Delhi for our meeting today, which I’m sure will give further impetus to our already strong relationship. India and Australia are pursuing a comprehensive strategic partnership,” he added.
Meanwhile, during the meeting, Rajnath Singh stressed that defence, in particular, has become one of the most important pillars of the India-Australia strategic partnership.
“The commitment towards further strengthening our bilateral relationship has been reaffirmed at the highest level every time our prime ministers met, either for summit-level talks or at multilateral forums like the quiet and G20 excellence,” he further said.
Additionally, he highlighted the bilateral meeting held with Australian Deputy PM Marles and said, “I had the opportunity to take forward some important initiatives with Minister Marles through our bilateral engagements.”
“We also had the opportunity to discuss our bilateral defence cooperation at length,” he added.
Rajnath Singh later emphasised that, through this meeting, “We will move ahead to take this partnership to the next level.”
The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a cornerstone of the India-Australia relationship and an opportunity to progress in working together to shape the type of region they want.