External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Australia’s top leadership, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on Saturday and discussed the bilateral strategic partnership, economic opportunities, people-to-people ties, besides exchanging ideas on the Indo-Pacific region and cricket.
Jaishankar, who arrived here from Fiji, also conveyed personal greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Australian counterpart Albanese.
“Delighted to call on PM @AlboMP of Australia today morning in Kirribilli House in Sydney. Conveyed the personal greetings of PM @narendramodi. Our discussions reflected the full spirit of our strategic partnership. Apprised @AlboMP of recent developments in that regard,” he tweeted.
“It was wonderful to meet with @DrSJaishankar this morning ahead of my trip to India next month. We discussed our strategic partnership, economic opportunities and the people-to-people ties that enrich our nations,” Australian Premier Albanese tweeted.
Jaishankar also met his counterpart Penny Wong and exchanged views on a number of issues.
“Warm and wide ranging discussions with FM @SenatorWong at Sydney Harbour today. Exchanged perspectives on the Indo-Pacific strategic picture, progress in the Quad, G20 developments and our respective neighbourhoods,” he wrote.
The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.
The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia. The Quad leaders in the past have pledged to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, which is also “inclusive and resilient”, as they noted that the strategically vital region, witnessing China’s growing military manoeuvring, is a bedrock of their shared security and prosperity.
Jaishankar, in his meeting with Wong, noted the forward movement on the bilateral agenda and emphasised the need for vigilance against radical activities targeting Indian community.
“Australia’s partnership with India is crucial for us and for our region. We are working together to shape the region we want – stable, prosperous and respectful of sovereignty. My good friend @DrSJaishankar and I reaffirmed our commitment to this ambition in Sydney today,” Wong tweeted.
He also met Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles.
“Great to meet DPM and Defence Minister @RichardMarlesMP this evening. An Insightful conversation on defense and security challenges that India and Australia confront. Our shared values and strategic convergence underpin growing cooperation,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Jaishankar also met Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen.
“A good meeting with @BowenChris, Minister of Climate Change & Energy of Australia. Discussed climate financing,loss & damage and need for greater collaboration. Focused on securing renewable energy technology and supply chains,” he tweeted.
Earlier, Jaishankar spoke at the Sydney Business Breakfast event where he emphasised that in today’s global landscape, like-minded countries need to work together “to derisk economy” and rise to challenges of the digital world and build relationships that serve as stabilisers for the economy.
“India and Australia are on-track. Bilaterally, our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership sets the framework and the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) will turbocharge the relationship. Regular contacts are helping,” he said.
Signed on April 2, 2022, the India-Australia ECTA came into force on December 29 last year.
“In a changing global scenario, India and Australia are forging a crucial partnership and the contributions of all stakeholders is appreciated,” he said.
Jaishankar said transformational governance changes underway in India are showing results.
He said a strong digital backbone was paving the way for efficient and effective delivery.
“A bullish economic scenario today in India and positive investment climate a result of decisions taken during difficult times. Make in India, Invent in India, PLIs, Gati Shakti are all going strong. Economic confidence being seen in our ability to create, collaborate & manufacture,” he tweeted.
Jaishankar is on his third visit to Australia since February last year. He visited Melbourne last year to attend the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
He also visited Australia in October to attend the 13th India-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue (FMFD).