India and Australia are expected to focus extensively during their inaugural two-plus-two ministerial dialogue here on Sept. 11 on further strengthening overall defense and security ties and fostering strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, said people familiar with the development. .
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh are scheduled to hold a dialogue with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton, they said.
As the two senior Australian ministers meet in the background of the Taliban taking power in Afghanistan, the issue is likely to come up in separate meetings that Jaishankar and Singh will have with their counterparts.
The focus of talks during the two-plus-two dialogue is expected to be on boosting overall cooperation in the Indo-Pacific in light of China’s growing military assertiveness in the region, the people said.
Both Australia and India are part of the Quadrilateral Coalition that has decided to work towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. The other two members of the Quad are the USA and Japan.
The above people said that the expansion of bilateral maritime security cooperation is expected to be another focus area in the two-plus-two dialogue.
The two-plus-two dialogue between the foreign and defense ministers was established as part of an overall goal to expand strategic cooperation between the two countries.
India has such a framework for talks with a very small number of countries, including the US and Japan.
Defense and military cooperation between India and Australia has been on the rise in recent years.
In June last year, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark agreement for mutual access to military bases for logistical support during an online summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
The Australian Navy was part of the recent Malabar naval exercise that also involved navies from India, the US and Japan.
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)