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Defence, security collaboration between India, Aus contributed significantly to free, open Indo-Pacific: Jaishankar

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SYDNEY (PTI):  External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India and Australia's defence, security collaboration has contributed significantly to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Australia, on Tuesday had an instructive morning with the Australian Armed Forces.

The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the region.

"Spent an instructive morning with the Australian Armed Forces. Our defence and security collaboration contributes significantly to a free and open Indo-Pacific," he tweeted along with a picture.

Addressing a joint press conference here with his Australian counterpart Penny Wong, Jaishankar on Monday said he had a "very useful, very productive and very comfortable discussion" on a range of bilateral and global issues.

Wong said that Australia and India have recognised that the Indo-Pacific region is being "reshaped" both economically and strategically and underlined that the partnership with India is a "critical part" of shaping the region.

"We can only build and sustain the region we want by working with others, including by working in partnership with India and for Australia, this partnership is a critical part of shaping the region we want," Wong said on Monday.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

Jaishankar received a warm 'Tiranga welcome' on his visit to Australia on Sunday as India's tricolour lit the country's old Parliament House in Canberra.

This is his second visit to Australia this year. The first visit was in February 2022 when he attended Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Melbourne.

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