India-Australia End '2+2' Talks, Focus on Afghanistan, COVID and China
The Australian delegation will also be meeting Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi.
In a joint press conference, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne stated that the crisis in Afghanistan is a common concern and that the international community needs to be united in its approach.
The comments from Jaishankar came on Saturday, 11 September, during India and Australia '2+2' ministerial dialogue. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also met Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton.
“During the '2+2' dialogue we also exchanged views on developments in our neighbouring regions. Afghanistan was understandably a major subject of discussion. We agreed that international community must be united in its approach, guided by UN Security Council Resolution 2593,” said Jaishankar.
Payne, who is also the Minister of Women, in her statement said that Australia, with the international community, will ensure that Afghanistan does not roll back to its past.
“In relation to the position of women and girls, for 20 years we've worked with the international community and people of Afghanistan to ensure better circumstances for women. Australia stands with international community in seeking to ensure that it not round back,” she said.
“We share strong interests in ensuring that Afghan, never again becomes safe haven for breeding, training of terrorists. We're also very focused on seeking safe passage for citizens, foreign nationals, visa holders of other countries who seek to leave Afghanistan,” she added.
On COVID-19 and international travel between the two nations, Payne said that Australia is on its way to a stage of vaccinations where international borders can be opened. The country has been the a prime destination for education and the lockdown has prevent thousands of students to travel to their universities.
"There is shared desire on both sides to see that travel resume between our countries as soon as it is safe to do so and I look forward to being one of the people at the airport to welcome the first arrivals of Indian students coming back to Australia," she added.
The 2+2 dialogue began as an outcome to future bilateral relations between the two countries, discussed key issues such a climate change, cyber technology, China’s growing presence in the pacific, and the current Afghanistan crisis is reportedly the top agenda.
Foreign minister Marise Payne and Minister Peter Dutton will also be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi later on Saturday.
(With inputs from agencies)
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