India, Australia 2 plus 2 ministerial expected in September
India and Australia are expected to hold the first minister-level “2 plus 2” meeting in September.
The maiden meeting between the Foreign and Defence Ministers is part of the bilateral plan to upgrade Secretary-level “2 plus 2” interactions. Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton are expected to visit India and Indonesia in September after holding talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary General Lloyd Austin.
According to a report in Australian media, Prime Minister Scott Morrison may also attend a Quad summit level meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in September in New York. The report published by the Australian network ABC claimed that the meeting is “not a certainty”.
Ms. Payne has met her Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar during the pandemic at virtual interactions and the planned September visit is the first that she will meet physically him in Delhi for an official interaction since the pandemic began. In May she had travelled to the U.K. for a G7 Foreign Ministers meeting that was also attended by Mr. Jaishankar but the Minister had to quarantine after members of the team were found to be COVID-19 positive.