Third India-Australia Secretary-level 2+2 Dialogue Held

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Ahead of visit by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to India, the third India-Australia Secretary-level 2+2 Dialogue was held in New Delhi to identify areas of cooperation between the two countries.

The Indian side was led by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, and the Australian side by Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty and Foreign Secretary Frances Adamson.

Among the wide range of issues discussed at the meeting included bilateral defence engagements between the two countries, enhancing cooperation in the field of the defence industry and defence technology and issues related to regional security. At bilateral as well at the 2+2, the two sides also discussed the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement.

According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Indian side led by Secretary Ajay Kumar sought deeper cooperation and engagements between the armed forces of the two countries.

The bilateral relations between India and Australia have witnessed a convergence of strategic perspectives with both countries keen for a prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region which would serve the long-term interests of all countries in the region.

The relationship between the two countries was elevated to a Strategic Partnership in 2009, and had also adopted a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. Both countries have inked a pact for civil nuclear cooperation in 2014.

The Australian Prime Minister accompanied by high-level business and official delegation, will be the chief guest at the 2020 Raisina Dialogue, and will deliver the inaugural address.

The dialogue is an annual event organised jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

There will be a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Morrison in an effort to further strengthen the relations between the two countries.

For India, Australia is a key partner in its Indo-Pacific strategy.