The regional security situation and the challenges in the Indo-Pacific obviously resulting from China’s expansionist and aggressive agenda will figure prominently during the upcoming visit by the Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong to India. Wong will be in New Delhi 1-2 March to attend the G20 foreign ministers meet here. She is expected to have high-level engagements with the diplomatic and security officials here. The Australian minister will also have a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, during which the regional security situation, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific amid Chinese aggression will be key issues of discussion, sources told The Daily Guardian.
Penny Wong’s statement issued on Monday underlines her focus on the Indo-Pacific during visit to India. According to the minister, she would visit India this week to take forward bilateral relations and work to ensure a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region ahead during the high-level engagements between the two countries. Wong will be discussing various other issues of bilateral interests with Jaishankar. Terrorism in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region will figure prominently during the discussion. She would also prepare ground for the visit of Australian PMAnthony Albanese who is expected to be in India by the second week of March. Trade Minister of Australia Don Farrell and resources minister Madeleine King would also accompany him.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Australia later this year to attend the Quad leaders’ summit along with the leaders of Australia, Japan and the US. The Australian PM’s visit to India would be important in this context as well, as a host of strategic issues would be finalised that will be included in the agenda after consultation with PM Modi.
Besides participating in the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Wong will also take part in the Raisina Dialogue, the annual conference on geo-politics co-hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs. This will be Wong’s first visit to India since becoming foreign minister.
“Australia supports India’s G20 presidency and welcomes India’s ambitious, action oriented G20 agenda, under the theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’,” Wong said on Monday while announcing her visit. Referring to her participation in the G20 foreign ministers meeting, she said, “I look forward to working with my counterparts on how we can address contemporary international challenges, including strengthening the system, food and energy security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”