On Wednesday, Australian Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles received a Guard of Honour and placed a wreath at the National War Memorial in New Delhi, in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Rajnath Singh will conduct bilateral meetings with Marles in New Delhi today to assess bilateral defence cooperation and explore new ideas to boost bilateral engagements. On Tuesday, Marles met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and addressed a wide variety of comprehensive strategic alliances, including a shared goal to building a stronger and more resilient Indo-Pacific.
“Wonderful to meet India’s External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar- a great friend of Australia. A productive discussion across the gamut of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including shared commitment to build together a stronger & resilient #IndoPacific,” the Australian Defence Minister tweeted.
Marles arrived in India on Monday, which marks the first high-level visit from Australia after newly-elected prime minister Anthony Albanese took office on May 23.
“Australia and India are Comprehensive Strategic Partners. I am committed to strengthening Australia’s defence and security cooperation with India,” said Marles. “I am looking forward to meeting with my counterpart, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and holding our first bilateral Defence Ministers’ Meeting,” Marles said in a statement.
Marles added that Rajnath Singh has been essential in promoting India-Australia defence cooperation and that he looks forward to working with him to further the defence pillar of the two countries’ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The minister also stated that India is one of Australia’s closest security allies, and that the government is committed to revitalising Australia’s traditionally profound engagement with our Indo-Pacific partners.
“The rules-based international order that has brought peace and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific for decades is experiencing pressure, as we face shifts in the geostrategic order,” he said. “Australia stands ready to work closely with India in support of an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific”.
Deputy Prime Minister Marles will also meet with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and meet with national security and defence policymakers and professionals during his visit.
Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Albanese stated that Australia’s connection with India is critical, and that ties between the two nations have never been stronger.
“Our relationship with India is a very important one and it was a great honour to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Prime Minister Albanese was congratulated by PM Modi on his electoral victory. Both presidents discussed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’s multifaceted collaboration, which includes commerce and investment, defence manufacturing, renewable energy, green hydrogen, education, science and technology, agricultural research, sports, and people-to-people relations.
Both Prime Ministers expressed their determination to keep the bilateral relationship on a constructive track. Bilateral conversations with PM Modi focused on the complete strategic and economic agendas of Australia and India, including sustainable energy technologies.