NEW DELHI, Nov 20 (KUNA) -- India and Australia agreed on Monday to further cement their defense and security ties after discussing developments in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East.
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that he co-hosted the second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
He thanked Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Australia Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong who attended the Dialogue for an open and productive exchange of views.
"Took stock of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and our growing convergences, especially in the defence, security and maritime domains. They work for the larger benefit of the region. Shared perspectives on developments in the Indo-Pacific, West Asia, South Asia and Ukraine. Spoke also about our contribution to addressing regional and global needs," Jaishankar said after concluding the Ministerial Dialogue.
In his opening remarks, the External Affairs Minister said that India Australia relationship in the Quad format has been very beneficial for the Indo-Pacific region and for the bilateral relationship.
"Our bilateral relationship has certainly grown rapidly, but that it has larger implications for the region, and a lot of other countries look to us and to our relationship in many ways as a factor of stability and security," Jaishankar said.
He also underlined that the Ministerial Dialogue is taking place at a time of increasing uncertainty in the world.
"We are seeing sharper polarization, deeper stresses today, and while it is important to ensure that the routine is there for the region to feel safer, we have to build and we have to act for stability on a daily basis," he said.
The Indian minister also appealed to plan as comprehensive strategic partners for exceptional challenges including regional and global many of them involve challenges to the rule of law.
On his part, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh emphasised the need for further consolidating the defense ties for the mutual benefit and for the benefit of the Indo-Pacific region.
"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. He added that India Australia have seen firming up defence, trade, education, science and technology.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles also expressed the need for deeper cooperation to face the growing regional and global challenges.
"We, are two countries which share history. We share democratic traditions. We share the rule of law and freedom of speech. We share this in a world where our strategic alignment is greater than it has ever been. For both of us, China is our biggest trade partner, for both of us China is our biggest security anxiety," the Australian Deputy PM said.
Foreign Minister of Australia Penny Wong stated: "We value deeply the bilateral relationship, economic ties, the two way trade and investment, the people to people links the climate initiatives particularly." She stressed that the ties are important for the wellbeing of the region. The minister said that it is "crucial to the sort of region we continue to work for peaceful, stable, prosperous where sovereignty is respected". (end) atk.ibi