India, Australia 2+2 Talks

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    • Recently, the inaugural “2+2” Ministerial-level meeting was held between India and Australia in New Delhi.

    Key Highlights

    • Indo- Pacific Cooperation: The foreign and defence ministerial talks are taking place amid renewed efforts by the Quad member countries to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
      • The important partnership between India and Australia is based on the shared vision of the Indo-Pacific region as a free, open, inclusive and prosperous domain.
    • Common Approach for Afghanistan: India and Australia displayed a common approach to the Afghan crisis with India stating that  the policy is summed up by the Security Council Resolution 2593.
      • Resolution 2593 was passed by the UN Security Council under the presidency of India on August 30, 2021 with Russia and China abstaining from voting.
    • Countering Terrorism: Strong interests were shown in ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for breeding or training of terrorists and that is an abiding concern of the international community. 
    • Sustainable Economic Growth: Both sides emphasised the need to ensure free flow of trade, adherence to international rules and norms and sustainable economic growth in the entire region.
    • Bilateral Defence Cooperation: Both nations decided to expand military engagements across services, facilitate greater defence information sharing and to work closely for mutual logistic support.
      • Continued participation of Australia in the Malabar Exercises.
      • Australia will invite India to the “Exercise Talisman Sabre” in 2023 and also Canberra will increase its defence diplomatic representation in New Delhi.
    • Investment for Industry: India invited Australian industry to take advantage of India’s liberalised foreign direct investment policies in the defence sector. Both agreed that there are opportunities of bilateral collaboration for co-development and co­ production.
    • Issues faced by Students: Both nations discussed difficulties faced by Indian students who secured admission in Australian universities but are unable to attend on-campus lectures because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
    • Regular Engagements:  Both the sides agreed to continue the high level engagements to build a strong and robust partnership.

    “2+2” Minister-level meeting

    • The 2+2 ministerial dialogue takes place between foreign and defence ministers of both sides. 
    • It is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two nations.
    • India has been involved in such dialogues with Japan, the USA and Australia.

    Significance

    • Enhanced Cooperation: The India-Australia dialogue is aimed at further ramping up the overall defence and strategic cooperation between the two countries.
    • Common Approach for Indo-Pacific: It would strengthen the common approach of both countries towards the Indo-Pacific amid China’s increasing military assertiveness in the region.
    • Human Bridge: It highlighted the growing importance of the Indian community in Australia as a human-bridge between both sides.  

    Conclusion

    • India and Australia are keen to work jointly to realise the full potential of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. 
    • This partnership is based on a shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region. 
    • Australia and India have tremendous stake in peace, development and free flow of trade, rules-based order and economic growth in the region.

     

    Source: TH