Thu, 30 Nov 2023

New Delhi [India], November 20 (ANI): Calling the partnership with India "consequential" for Australia, Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong said that Canberra deeply values its bilateral relationship with New Delhi, adding that it is "crucial to region" where sovereignty is respected.

In her opening remarks at the India-Australia 22 Defence and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue here in the national capital, Penny Wong noted that the two nations have done a lot together bilaterally and hope to do more. She recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi's State visit to Australia.

"We've done a lot of work together bilaterally and we hope to do more again today. I think what I would emphasize is that we value deeply the bilateral relationship, economic ties, the two way trade and investment, the people to people links the climate initiatives particularly ... that we're working on together. But to again underline what we all know which is this is a partnership which is consequential for us but it is crucial for our region and we see you India as central, crucial to the sort of region we continue to work for peaceful, stable, prosperous where sovereignty is respected and we look forward in this discussion to going further on the ways in which we can both work to deliver that," she added.

Penny Wong said, "It's a real honour to be here for the two plus two. It's been a big year in the bilateral relationship I think since we were elected some 19 ministerial visits to India by our government. We've obviously had Prime Minister Modi's state visit to Australia which was so welcomed."The India-Australia 22 Defence and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue is co-chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong.

S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh warmly received Richard Marles and Penny Wong for the 22 Ministerial Dialogue. The ministers shook hands and posed for the cameras.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said that the ministers of India and Australia during the 22 Ministerial Dialogue are expected to discuss various issues, including in areas of defence and security, trade and investment, critical minerals, energy, climate change, ST, space, education and people-to-people linkages.

Taking on his social media X, Arindam Bagchi stated, "Furthering - Comprehensive Strategic Partnership! RM @rajnathsinghEAM @DrSJaishankar warmly received Deputy PMDefence Minister @RichardMarlesMP and FM @SenatorWong of Australia ahead of the 2nd - 22 Ministerial Dialogue. Ministers will exchange views on deepening multifaceted - ties, including in areas of defence and security, tradeinvestment, critical minerals, energy, climate change, ST, space, education and people to people linkages. Regional and global issues are also on agenda."Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with Richard Marles. Before the meeting, Marles inspected the Tri-Services Guard of Honour in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at South Block lawns in New Delhi. Richard Marles and Penny Wong laid a wreath at the National War Memorial in Delhi. (ANI)

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