Jaishankar highlights importance of military cooperation to ensure peaceful Indo-Pacific

In his second visit to Australia, Jaishankar met Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles and Education Minister Jason Clare

October 10, 2022 03:00 pm | Updated 04:23 pm IST - Canberra:

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Australia Defence Minister Richard Marles, in Melbourne on October 10, 2022.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Australia Defence Minister Richard Marles, in Melbourne on October 10, 2022. | Photo Credit: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar

External Affairs Minister on October 10, 2022 met Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles and said that the growing defence and security cooperation between both countries ensures a peaceful, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.

"Pleased to meet DPM and Defence Minister of Australia @RichardMarlesMP. Exchanged views on regional and global security," Mr. Jaishanakar said, amidst the Chinese military's aggressive moves in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

"Our growing defence and security cooperation ensures a peaceful, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific," Mr. Jaishankar tweeted along with a picture in which he is seen gifting a bat signed by former Indian captain Virat Kohli to the Australian Defence Minister.

The U.S., India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region. The U.S., India, Australia and Japan are also part of the Quad grouping.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

Mr. Jaishankar, who arrived in Canberra on Monday, also met Australia’s Education Minister Jason Clare and discussed the importance of quality education.

"Glad to meet Australia’s Education Minister @JasonClareMP today afternoon in Canberra. Discussed the importance of quality education, need for an international outlook and preparation for the global workplace," he tweeted.

"A pleasure to catch up this afternoon with India’s Minister for External Affairs @DrSJaishankar and discuss the work we are doing together on international education," Clare tweeted.

Over 2.60 lakh students have arrived in Australia to take up higher education soon after the country opened its borders following the impact caused by Covid-19 enforced lockdown, an official said on Saturday. Australia has unveiled the Study Australia Industry Experience programme for Indian students aimed at enhancing employability skills, Australian Trade and Investment Commissioner-South Asia Abdul Ekram said in September.

Earlier, in a joint press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Mr. Jaishankar said that India wants Australia to partner in education.

"One of them is a proposal that’s been under discussion for an understanding of mobility, on the mobility of talent and skills, how we can grow education and what we could do particularly bearing in mind, India’s New National Education Policy (NEP). We certainly would like to see Australia, which is one of our major partners in education, also having a stronger presence in India, and that’s something which our Prime Ministers had discussed as well when they had met in Tokyo." This is Mr. Jaishankar's second visit to Australia this year.

The first visit was in February 2022 when he attended Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Melbourne.

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