India, France and Australia to work for open, rules-based Indo-Pacific

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Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): India, France and Australia are committed to advancing their shared values and working together to achieve a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said a joint statement issued by all three countries after meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

This comes after External Affairs Minister (EAM), Dr S Jaishankar, France's Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne, met in London for the first India-France-Australia Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue on 4 May.

The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. They reaffirmed their commitment to ASEAN's centrality and their support for ASEAN's Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and noted its complementarity with India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.

The Ministers agreed to enhance trilateral cooperation in confronting the challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. They recognized India's positive contribution to supply COVID-19 vaccines to various countries globally, both bilaterally and via multilateral mechanisms (COVAX) which France and Australia fully support and contribute to.

During the Ministerial Dialogue, the three countries shared mutual concerns regarding the strategic, security, economic and environmental challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. They pledged to work together, and acknowledged the important role of regional forums such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association, the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, ASEAN, the East Asia Summit and the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Ministers discussed the current situation in Myanmar. They underscored their commitment to developing sustainable, resilient and quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region and agreed to work together through the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure in advancing this objective.

India, France and Australia undertook to work together with a range of partners to promote the rules-based maritime order based on respect for sovereignty and international law. They affirmed the centrality of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and that UNCLOS provides the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas.

The three Ministers reviewed the outcomes of the first India-France-Australia Foreign Secretaries' Trilateral Dialogue held on 9 September 2020, which have progressed on three pillars: maritime safety and security, marine and environmental cooperation, and multilateral engagement.

The Ministers underscored the importance of cooperation on counter-terrorism, including through the upcoming 'No Money for Terror' Ministerial Conference. (ANI)

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