Defence Ministers of Australia and India Discuss Enhanced Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

Two ministers acknowledged the significant progress in defence cooperation under the comprehensive strategic partnership framework.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Richard Marles held talks on Thursday with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, to review various aspects of defence cooperation and explore closer collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region.

Deputy PM Richard Marles congratulated Minister Rajnath Singh on his reappointment as ‘Raksha Mantri’ for a second term and praised the robust democratic process in India, which saw a high voter turnout. He also congratulated Singh on Team India’s victory in the T20 World Championship.

Minister Rajnath Singh emphasised the importance of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Australia.

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On social media platform X, he shared, “Spoke with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Mr. @RichardMarlesMP. We reviewed a range of issues pertaining to defence cooperation and discussed closer collaboration between India and Australia in the Indo-Pacific. We place great value on India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Australia.”

During the meeting, the two ministers acknowledged the significant progress in defence cooperation under the comprehensive strategic partnership framework. They appreciated the momentum achieved since the last India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, held in November 2023.

According to a press release from the Indian Ministry of Defence, Australia considers India a top-tier security partner, as highlighted in their National Defence Strategy document released in 2024.

In recent years, the relationship between India and Australia has seen transformative growth. The Indian High Commission in Canberra noted that bilateral cooperation has expanded significantly within existing frameworks and has opened up new possibilities at both bilateral and global levels.

The collaboration extends beyond defence. In June, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar expressed gratitude to his Australian counterpart, Penny Wong, for coordinating with India to deliver Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to the landslide-affected Enga Province in Papua New Guinea.

“So glad we could coordinate FM @SenatorWong. #IndiaAustraliaDosti delivering HADR assistance in the Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar posted on X.

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Penny Wong highlighted Australia’s efforts in coordinating with partners to deliver essential aid to Papua New Guinea. She mentioned, “Australia is coordinating with partners to ensure the delivery of much-needed assistance to our Papua New Guinean family. We were pleased to transport a package of Indian supplies to the landslide-affected Enga Province as we visited the disaster zone,” she stated on X.

The ongoing collaboration and mutual support between India and Australia underscore the strengthening of their strategic partnership, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, which is critical for maintaining regional stability and addressing shared security challenges.

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