India and Australia are expected to discuss a wide range of strategic, defence and security issues as the Defence and Foreign ministers of the two countries meet for the second 2+2 ministerial dialogue on Monday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and their Australian counterparts Richard Marles and Penny Wong will hold the talks to further advance cooperation under the India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Announcing India’s hosting of the dialogue, the MEA said the ministers are expected to discuss the situation in West Asia in view of the Israel-Hamas war, China’s increasing belligerence in the Indo-Pacific, India’s diplomatic row with Canada, and the Russia-Ukraine war.
The discussions will also cover bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest to further advance cooperation under the India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership, it said. “Both sides will also exchange views on shared priorities for strengthening minilateral and multilateral cooperation,” it added.
Singh and Jaishankar will also hold separate bilateral talks with their Australian counterparts. “The external affairs minister (S Jaishankar) and foreign minister Wong will hold the 14th foreign ministerial framework dialogue on November 21 to take stock of cooperation under the comprehensive strategic partnership and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the MEA said in a statement.
The Defence ministry said, ”Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles will… co-chair the second India-Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.”
“The two countries are expected to discuss wide-ranging issues of mutual interest during the 2+2 dialogue and the bilateral defence ministers’ meeting,” it said.
The inaugural ‘2+2’ ministerial dialogue between India and Australia took place in September 2021.