Australia plans high-level Indo-Pacific drive

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton will be visiting Indonesia, India, South Korea and the United States as part of the country’s wider Indo-Pacific focus.

The joint visit announced this week will attempt to advance Australia's relationship with close friends and strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific region and is aimed at strongly reinforcing Australia's active engagement in the region, an official statement said on September 8.
"During our meetings and engagements across the four countries, we will discuss our continuing partnerships to overcome the pandemic, including through the equitable, safe and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and our shared path to global economic recovery," Payne said.
Dutton said the visits are an essential opportunity to build on already strong defence relationships, particularly with the United States on the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance.
"I am very much looking forward to meeting with my counterparts face-to-face to build on our already strong relationships and to discuss further our shared interests in keeping our region safe and secure," he added.
In New Delhi, the ministers will attend 2+2 talks with Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The relationship between Australia and India has been described as being at a historic high. The ministers will discuss issues including economic security, cyber, climate, critical technology and supply chains.
In Washington, the ministers will participate in the first Australia-United States Ministerial consultations (AUSMIN) with the Biden Administration, joining their counterparts – Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, to advance a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific.

(ANI)

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