India and Australia recognize that the Indo-Pacific region is being reshaped and it is in the interest of both nations to navigate through this together, said Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
She made these remarks while addressing a press conference along with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. “India and Australia are comprehensive strategic partners. We are Quad partners. We partner in many other ways,” she said after both ministers held the 13th Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue (FMFD).
“Most fundamentally, we share a region, the Indio Pacific region. We got a shared interest and shared ambition which is our region being stable, prosperous and respectable of sovereignty and where countries are not required to choose sides but make their own sovereign choices,” the minister said.
Wong said both India and Australia “don’t want to see any country dominating and any country being dominated.”
“We both recognize that our region is being reshaped both economically and strategically. Our partnership is a demonstration that we understand that this period of change is best navigated together,” she added.
Underlining the importance of partnership with India, Wong said, “For Australia, this partnership (India), is a critical part of shaping the region we want.”
She said both countries have agreed to continue to deepen the relationship, including the diplomatic footprint in each other’s country. “We are looking to open a consulate general in Bengaluru, in the heart of India’s technology industry sometime next year,” she added.
Jaishankar arrived in Canberra on Monday “to a Tiranga welcome”. He will hold talks with the top leadership of Australia to further enhance bilateral cooperation.
“Arrived in Canberra to a Tiranga welcome. So happy to see the old Parliament house of Australia in our national colours,” Jaishankar tweeted. In Australia, Jaishankar will be visiting Canberra and Sydney.
It is EAM’s second visit to Australia this year, the first was in February 2022 to attend the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Melbourne.
The external affairs minister will also be meeting Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles.