External affairs minister S. Jaishankar is all set for his official trip to Australia and the Philippines between February 10-15 

Date:

This visit will mark S. Jaishankar’s first official trip to Australia and the Philippines as External Affairs Minister and his first overseas official trip post-Covid recovery 

 

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirms that S. Jaishankar will begin his six-day official visit to Australia and the Philippines tomorrow, marking his first official overseas trip after his recovery from Covid-19. 

Between February 10-13, he is scheduled to visit Australia, responding to the invitation of Australian External Affairs Minister Marise Payne.

The visit’s main objective is to participate in the 4th Quad Foreign Minister’s Meeting on 11th February in Melbourne. Other dignitaries scheduled to participate in the Quad meeting include the Foreign Ministers of Japan and the United States. 

At the Quad Meeting this year, MEA reports that the ministers plan to follow up on the virtual meeting organized in February last year and communicate on strategic issues related to creating and upholding a “free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”

They will further discuss ways of combatting the current challenges of “the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chains, critical technologies, climate change, infrastructure, etc.,” the MEA added.  

On the sidelines of this meeting, Jaishankar and Payne are also scheduled on 12th February to co-chair the 12th Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue, reviewing the progress report of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The discussion will be focused on regional and bilateral matters of mutual interest.  

Jaishankar will further co-chair with his counterpart the inaugural meeting of the Foreign Ministers’ Cyber Framework Dialogue (FMCFD) on 12th February. They will analyze and review the rate at which the India-Australia Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation has been implemented.

External affairs minister S. Iaishankar is all set for his official trip to Australia and the Philippines between February 10-15
Image Source – Indiablooms

They will also assess the Plan of Action related to this Framework Arrangement signed in June 2020 when the Virtual Leaders’ Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison was held.  

Besides these meetings, Jaishankar is also scheduled to interact with Australian political leaders, academicians, and students of the Indian diaspora.  

The visit to the Philippines will start from 13th February and continue till the 15th. This trip will mark Jaishankar’s first visit to the country and is strategically important. The visit takes place only days after the Southeast Asian nation signed a $375 million deal with India to purchase BrahMos missiles.  

Jaishankar will participate in talks with Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.

The MEA confirmed that the ministers would assess the progress in bilateral relations since their Joint Commission meeting on bilateral cooperation that was virtually held in November 2020, where Jaishankar and his Philippines counterpart had acted as co-chairs. International and bilateral matters of mutual interest are supposed to be the topics under discussion.  

According to the MEA, “The visit is expected to impact further momentum in bilateral relations with our key partners in the Indo-Pacific, Australia, and the Philippines, which is also a leading member of the ASEAN.”

On the sidelines of this meeting, Jaishankar is supposed to wrap up his trip with an engagement with the Indian diasporic community in Manila.


Edited by : Mahi Gupta

Published by : Vishakha Verma

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