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India, Australia and France to Hold Trilateral Dialogue on April 13 With Focus on Indo-Pacific

File photo of EAM S Jaishankar.

File photo of EAM S Jaishankar.

PM Modi is expected to attend the opening and closing sessions of the event.

The foreign ministers of India, France, and Australia are set to hold a trilateral meet in New Delhi on April 13 to discuss steps to strengthen maritime security and other Indo-pacific issues, sources said.

As per reports, the trilateral meet will be attended by heads of state of Rwanda and Denmark and other 10 foreign ministers while PM Modi is expected to attend the opening and closing sessions of the event.

Important issues on geopolitics are set to be taken up during the conference including Raisina Dialogue.

A report by Hindustan Times revealed that French foreign minister Jean Yves Le Drian will be on a two-day visit to India on April 12 evening during which he will be meeting Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne. The French PM is slated to call on PM Modi and other top Indian leaders on April 13.

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“The trilateral dialogue will be a meeting of middle powers, who have democratic polity and have the economic strength and shared values to help each other in terms of trade and technology,” a senior Indian official was quoted telling the Hindustan Times.

The three foreign ministers will also be discussing the global security environment and the Chinese posture in the Indo-Pacific.

As per reports, it is further understood that French envoy Christophe Penot in its virtual briefing last week had outlined the role of France, Australia, and India in the Indo-Pacific especially New Delhi’s role in the efforts.

Talking to Hindustan Times, a retired diplomat said that after India stood up to the attack by the People’s Liberation Army in East Ladakh in May last year, key strategic allies like France and UK, also recognized the centrality of India in ensuring the right to free navigation in the Indo-Pacific.

Earlier, a trilateral meet was held among India, France, and Australia on February 24 with a focus on better coordination on Indo-Pacific. Other areas discussed in the February meeting were greater maritime domain awareness of Indo Pacific countries, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, oil spill management, and disaster resilience of small island states.

first published:April 02, 2021, 15:07 IST