Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday held talks with his Australian counterpart Peter Dutton and discussed ways to expand the bilateral defence cooperation, as well as, cooperation in emerging defence technologies.
"India-Australia discussions today focused on our bilateral defence cooperation and expanding military engagements across services, enhancing defence information sharing and cooperation in emerging defence technologies," said Rajnath Singh.
"We held talks on bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional issues. Both sides are willing to take steps towards greater cooperation on India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," he added.
Rajnath Singh also emphasised that India is committed to building a robust partnership with Australia for the security and growth of the entire region.
Meanwhile, Dutton noted that India's leadership is essential to Australia's Indo-Pacific strategy.
"India's leadership is essential to Australia's Indo-Pacific strategy. We share one of the world's important oceans. We both want a stable, resilient, secure and strategic neighbourhood," said Dutton.
After the conclusion of the meeting, Rajnath Singh also tweeted, saying that both the countries are keen to work jointly to realise the full potential of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
"Had a very fruitful discussion with the Defence Minister of Australia, Mr Peter Dutton on the bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional issues. Both of us are keen to work jointly to realize the full potential of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," Rajnath Singh tweeted.
"This partnership is based on our shared vision of free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region. Both, Australia and India have tremendous stakes in peace, development and free flow of trade, rules-based order and economic growth in the region," he added.
India is set to host the first-ever 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with Australia on September 11. Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton from the Australian side will meet with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
India has 2+2 Ministerial format meetings with very few countries, including the USA and Japan. A similar decision was taken for Russia but no dates have been announced yet. (ANI)