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Opening Remarks by the External Affairs Minister at the First India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

September 11, 2021

Let me add my own remarks to the opening session. On my own behalf and that of my senior colleague, the Defence Minister, a very warm welcome to you, Minister Payne and to you, Minister Dutton and all members of the delegation who have travelled in person for participating in this very important dialogue.

This is the inaugural 2+2 at the Ministerial level which was agreed to at the First Virtual Leaders’ Summit that was held last June, when in fact, our bilateral relations were elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. I am delighted that we are able to commence the 2+2 Dialogue at Ministers’ level, because, this is actually a format of discussion that we have with a very very few countries.

We are meeting at a very crucial time when, along with a pandemic we have a geo-political environment which is in rapid flux and we must, bilaterally and with other like-minded partners, respond adequately to safeguard our national interests as well as ensure a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

I also believe that developments in Afghanistan will be an important subject of discussion between us today. This meeting of course gives us an opportunity to review and take forward the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as we prepare for another meeting between our Prime Ministers later this month in the United States.

So once again a very warm welcome to you.

New Delhi
September 11, 2021

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