Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Photograph:( ANI )
It is aimed at further ramping up their overall defence and strategic cooperation including in the Indo-Pacific amid China's increasing military assertiveness in the region
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has issued a joint statement after the '2+2' ministerial dialogue with Australia saying that India and Australia share an important partnership that is entirely based on the shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
India and Australia began a high-level foreign and defence ministerial dialogue.
It is aimed at further ramping up their overall defence and strategic cooperation including in the Indo-Pacific amid China's increasing military assertiveness in the region.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held the inaugural 'two-plus-two' talks with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton.
The talks come in at a time the global focus has been on the situation in Afghanistan and the issue is likely to figure in the deliberations.
The two defence ministers discussed the fragile security situation in Afghanistan and their "common concerns" relating to the possible spread of terrorism from the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Talking about "significant challenges" facing the Indo-Pacific, the Australian foreign minister said that Canberra seeks a region where the rights of large and small countries are respected and that no "single dominant power" dictates the outcome for others.
In June last year, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Also, they signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support during an online summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.