Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton will visit Jakarta, New Delhi, Seoul, Washington and New York to advance Australia’s relationships with strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific region. The ministers said “Australia’s security and economic prosperity is deeply integrated with those of our regional partners in the Indo-Pacific. We share with these key partners a vision for an open, inclusive and resilient region, underpinned by mutual prosperity and stability”.
Payne said that among the most pressing issues for discussion was cooperation on the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuring the recovery takes place in a way that reflects our values and principles. “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 important 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,” Dutton said.
In Jakarta, the ministers will meet with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto for the 7th 2+2 ministerial consultations. “These high-level talks are an important opportunity to take stock of substantial progress against our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including COVID-19 response and recovery efforts,” Payne said. “We will also discuss regional security and joint priorities in support of ASEAN, including practical cooperation under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” Dutton said.
In New Delhi, the Ministers will attend 2+2 talks with External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The relationship between Australia and India is at an historic high, as our nations work together to promote positive regional cooperation. The ministers will discuss issues including economic security, cyber, climate, critical technology and supply chains.
As Australia and the Republic of Korea advance a mutual commitment to elevation of the bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the ministers will also travel to Seoul for the fifth bilateral 2+2 consultations with counterparts Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Minister for National Defense Suh Wook. 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. The ministers will discuss deepening cooperation on issues such as COVID-19 response and recovery, economic coercion, defence posture, climate, cyber and critical technology, space and supply chains.
“I will also travel to New York to attend the opening of the 76th United Nations General Assembly where I will represent Australia at several events as part of High-Level Week”, Payne said.