India and Australia on Tuesday pledged to deepen their economic and security partnership and stressed their shared commitment towards a “free, independent, inclusive and rules-based” Indo-Pacific. This region is witnessing China’s increasing aggression. After participating in the ‘India-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue’, Foreign Minister S. Addressing a press conference with his Australian counterpart Penny Wong, Jaishankar said that India is preparing for a meeting of the Quad group sometime next year. The Quad group includes Australia, India, Japan and America. The Foreign Minister said that the two leaders underlined the importance of moving forward on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations and discussed the subject. S Jaishankar said, “We talked about the way forward towards making the movement of our students and professionals between the two countries easier.”
The Foreign Minister said that both the leaders also discussed the situation in West Asia in detail. When asked about the Israel-Hamas conflict at a press conference, Jaishankar talked about India’s position and said that this “very complex and challenging situation” has many aspects.
S Jaishankar said, “What happened on October 7, terrorism is definitely an aspect of it.” We as a national and international community think that we should never compromise on terrorism, we should be very clear about it, so that is one issue and it also includes the issue of hostages.
He said, “The second issue today is the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance and it is necessary to follow international humanitarian law. The third issue is related to the rights and future of Palestinians, there should also be a solution to that. In our view and that of many countries in the world, that can only lie in a two-nation solution. Jaishankar said, “We have to find a way through which all these aspects can be addressed.”
He stressed that “real progress” is being made in the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. “Today, among other things, we also discussed the importance of moving forward on the ‘Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement’ (CECA) negotiations,” he said. We talked about the way forward to make the movement of our students and professionals more accessible between the two countries. Jaishankar said, “We both want to build more reliable and resilient supply chains in the Indo-Pacific for comprehensive and inclusive growth.” He said that under the ‘two plus two’ dialogue and in today’s talks, there was a comprehensive discussion on security issues.
Jaishankar said, “We have shared growing rapport with Australia. At its core lies a shared commitment to a free, open, inclusive, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.” He said the two leaders called for an end to terrorism, fundamentalism and extremism. Also discussed the issue of.
S Jaishankar said, “As a liberal democracy, a Quad partner, we will continue to work on a rules-based international basis. We will support freedom of navigation in international waters while respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all nations, promoting connectivity, development and security for all.” India and Australia on Monday agreed to focus on defense cooperation. Also decided to further strengthen our strategic partnership to deal with “extraordinary challenges” in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. In the second India-Australia ‘Two Plus Two’ ministerial dialogue, both the countries also underlined the importance of enhancing cooperation and exchange of information and awareness in the maritime domain. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong here as part of ‘two plus two’ ministerial talks.
(also from inputs language)