India - Australia (2+2 Ministerial talks)

GS Paper II

News Excerpt:

Recently, the Defence Minister of India and External Affairs of India met the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister and Foreign Minister as part of the second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi.


Key Points:

  • India and Australia held a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue to step up defence cooperation and deepen the strategic relationship in critical minerals and trade and investment sectors.
  • India and Australia are finalising agreements for cooperation in hydrography and air-to-air refuelling.
  • Additionally, the two ministers talked about cooperating on joint research endeavours involving underwater technology and working together to solve problems in defence start-ups in both nations.
  • They agreed that a robust defensive alliance between Australia and India would benefit both nations and the Indo-Pacific's general security.  

India-Australia past developments:

  • In 2020, India and Australia inked a Mutual Logistics Support agreement. 
  • In August 2021, the two Navies signed a document titled "Joint Guidance for the India-Australia Navy to Navy Relationship." At the Indian Navy's Information Fusion Center for the Indian Ocean Region, Australia is likewise represented by a liaison officer.
  • This year has seen several firsts in terms of bilateral defence cooperation, including the first-ever visit of an Indian Navy submarine to Australia, the Malabar naval exercise held in Canberra, and the arrival of an Indian Navy Dornier and an Air Force C-130 to Cocos Keeling island.

India’s 2+2 Dialogue Partners:

  • The US is India’s oldest and most important 2+2 dialogue partner.
  • Additionally, India has held 2+2 meetings with ministers from Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Russia.
    • The talks with Japan began in 2019, aiming to "further enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defence cooperation."
    • The inaugural edition of the India-Russia 2+2 dialogue was held in 2021.
    • The same year, 2+2 dialogue with Australia also began. The first of these talks with the UK was held in October 2023.

Significance of 2+2 Dialogue:

  • Strengthening such cooperation mechanisms between the two militaries and their vision is essential in an increasingly aggressive China, which threatens many countries in its neighbourhood and beyond and has challenged several established norms and aspects of international relations. 
  • The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is a cornerstone of the India-Australia relationship and an opportunity to progress in working together to shape the region they want.
    • It deepened cooperation between the two nations in various fields, including defence, trade, education, and technology. 
    • The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between India and Australia is a significant opportunity to advance the bilateral relationship and shape the desired region.
  • Another example is establishing the mechanism with Japan, which is likewise cautious of China's involvement. 
  • However, India also talks to Russia through 2+2 dialogues, considering its security and energy interests and the countries’ historical depth of relations.


There are strategic, defence, security, and economic importance of 2+2 ministerial dialogues. As the global system evolves and new problems surfacing across multiple domains, these conversations are even more crucial.