New Delhi, Oct 7 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday held bilateral talks with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne in Tokyo, covering a range of bilateral, regional and global issues.
Jaishankar and Payne travelled to Tokyo to attend a ministerial meeting of the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition comprising India, the US, Australia and Japan. The 'Quad' foreign ministers' meeting took place on Tuesday.
After his meeting with Payne, Jaishankar tweeted that the progress in bilateral ties following the virtual summit between prime ministers of the two countries was reviewed. 'Warm meeting with my good friend FM @MarisePayne of Australia. Reviewed the progress in our bilateral ties after the Virtual Summit between our PMs. Discussed expanding our cooperation in global affairs & regional issues. Will work together more closely in multilateral forums,' he said.
The meeting took place in the backdrop of frosty relations of India and Australia with China.
While India's ties with China nosedived over the five-month border standoff in eastern Ladakh, the relationship between Beijing and Canberra came under stress over trade related issues.
It is understood that Jaishankar and Payne discussed key regional security challenges.
The defence and security ties between India and Australia have been on an upswing in the last few years and both the countries even vowed to work together in the Indo-Pacific, a region that witnessed growing Chinese assertiveness.
At an online summit on June 4 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, the two countries elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and inked a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support.
The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation. PTI MPB DV DV