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The Hon Richard Marles MP

Visit to India for second 2+2 foreign and Defence ministerial consultations

This week the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles and Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong will travel to India to meet with their ministerial counterparts and attend the second India–Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi.

The Australia–India relationship has never been more consequential. We are working together through our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as Quad partners and beyond to promote a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a cornerstone of our relationship and an opportunity to progress our work together to shape the type of region we want.

Ministers will advance cooperation on our shared regional interests, including in defence, security, renewable energy and technology. They will also discuss deepening trade and investment ties.

The Deputy Prime Minister will represent the Australian Government at the ICC World Cup on Sunday evening, where Australia will take on India in the final.

Deputy Prime Minister Marles will also meet his counterpart, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, to discuss ways to continue driving forward the Australia–India defence relationship and discuss the shared challenges facing our region.

Foreign Minister Wong will meet with her counterpart Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar for the long-standing annual AustraliaIndia Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue.

The Deputy Prime Minister will then travel to the United Arab Emirates to meet with his ministerial counterparts between 21 and 22 November.

This is the first visit to the region by an Australian Defence Minister in five years and the first visit by the Deputy Prime Minister. This sends an important signal that Australia remains committed to Middle East stability. Australia supports the ongoing efforts of international partners, including the UAE, to prevent the Hamas-Israel conflict from spreading.

The Australian Government is sincerely grateful for the UAE’s assistance as we undertook assisted-departure flights for Australians affected by the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and for the UAE’s ongoing support in hosting Australian Defence Force personnel.

While in the UAE, the Deputy Prime Minister will have the honour of meeting with the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.   

The UAE is Australia’s most significant regional defence partner, and largest trade and investment partner with two-way trade valued at $9.2 billion in 2022.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP:

“India is a top-tier security partner for Australia and our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is one of practical, tangible actions that directly benefit the Indo-Pacific region.

“This year has seen a number of firsts in our defence relationship, including an Indian submarine visit to Perth and Australia’s hosting of Exercise Malabar, demonstrating the growing closeness of our defence and security partnership.

“Our cooperation with India is at the heart of Australia’s approach to ensuring the Indo-Pacific remains open, inclusive and resilient.

“Australia remains committed to maintaining our close bilateral defence and economic relationship with the UAE through dialogues, training and industry cooperation.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong:

“The India–Australia partnership is central to the stability and prosperity of our shared region.

“Along with our deepening defence and security cooperation, Australia is committed to partnering with India more closely for the benefit of our region, in the Indian Ocean, in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific.

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