Jaishankar due in Melbourne for Quad meet

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Jaishankar will be paying an official visit to Australia from February 10-13 at the invitation of his Australian counterpart Marise Payne….reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar will participate in the 4th Quad Foreign Ministers’ meeting on February 11 in Melbourne, along with the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Japan and the United States, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed on Wednesday.

Jaishankar will be paying an official visit to Australia from February 10-13 at the invitation of his Australian counterpart Marise Payne.

The MEA release said that this will be his first visit as External Affairs Minister to Australia. It would be the first high-level visit to Australia from India after the opening of its borders which were closed following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It will be an opportunity for the Ministers to follow up on their virtual meeting held in February 2021 and exchange views on regional strategic issues given their shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. The Ministers will review ongoing Quad cooperation and build on the positive and constructive agenda announced by the Leaders at the two Summits in 2021, to address contemporary challenges such as the COVID pandemic, supply chains, critical technologies, climate change, infrastructure etc,” the MEA said.

EAM and Australian Foreign Minister will co-chair the 12th Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue on February 12. The Ministers will review the progress of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and discuss bilateral, multilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

On the same day, EAM will co-chair the inaugural Foreign Ministers’ Cyber Framework Dialogue (FMCFD) with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

The Ministers will assess the progress made towards implementation of the India-Australia Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation and the subsidiary Plan of Action which they signed in June 2020 on the sidelines of the Virtual Leaders’ Summit held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Meetings for EAM are also scheduled with Australian political leaders, academics and businesses, as well as the Indian diaspora and students.

Jaishankar would also be on a bilateral visit to the Philippines from February 13-15. This will be his first visit to the Philippines as External Affairs Minister. (ANI)

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