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India-Australia First 2+2 Dialogue

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  • 13 Sep 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, the foreign and defence ministers of India and Australia held the first India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi.

  • The inaugural dialogue is held in pursuant to the elevation of India-Australia bilateral relations to comprehensive strategic partnership during the India-Australia Leaders’ virtual summit in 2021.

Key Points

  • Focus on Indo-Pacific: To maintain an open, free, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region (in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)).
  • Focus on Supply Chain Resilience Initiative: To work together through multilateral, regional and plurilateral mechanisms to diversify supply chains between trusted and reliable trading partners for critical health, technology and other goods and services.
  • Keeping-up with the Momentum: Decided to meet at least once every two years in this format to keep up the momentum.
  • Shared Vision on Afghanistan: Displayed a common approach to the Afghan crisis, after the recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
    • India held that the policy is summed up by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2593.
    • UNSC Resolution 2593, emphasises most of all, that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner by any body for terrorism.
  • Countering Terrorism: To continue to work together on counter terrorism; countering of radicalization and on the proposed UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  • Strengthening Bilateral Relationship: Discussed strengthening their relationship in bilateral trade, vaccines, defence production, community links, maritime security, cyber and climate cooperation.
  • Cooperation on Covid-19: Agreement was reached to deepen cooperation in vaccine manufacturing, including under the Quad framework, and to deliver high quality vaccines to their Indo-Pacific partners.
    • Researchers of both countries are working together to advance Covid-19 screening and study the future health effects of the virus through projects funded by the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.
  • Defence Relationship: Australia has invited India for participation in future Talisman Sabre exercises which will raise interoperability while both sides explore longer term reciprocal arrangements in logistics support.
  • Economic Agreements: There was renewed support expressed for finalization of bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
    • Apart from this, both countries also pitched for early resolution of the issue of taxation of offshore income of Indian firms under the India Australia Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.
  • Others: While reaffirming support for the Indian candidacy for permanent membership of the UNSC, grants of Australian $ 1 million to the International Solar Alliance, and Australian $10 million to the Coalition for Disaster Resilient infrastructure (both India-led initiatives).

‘2+2’ Dialogue

  • 2+2 Ministerial is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries.
  • It is a format of dialogue where the defence/foreign ministers or secretaries meet with their counterparts from another country.
  • India holds such talks with Australia, Japan and the USA.

India-Australia Relations

Source: IE

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