Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, addressing a Joint Press Conference with the Foreign Minister of Australia Marise Payne, welcomed the reopening of the Australian border which will help stranded Indian students and visa holders to return to Australia.
India appreciates the opening of Australian borders:
Almost two years after borders were first closed due to COVID-19, Australia is set to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated tourists and all visa holders. On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the country would be open to all fully vaccinated visa holders, including tourists, beginning February 21.
Addressing the conference with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar said that the two ministers held productive, useful, and wide-ranging discussions.
”A lot of our discussion reflects the real and profound transformation in our ties which is happened in this very difficult period of the COVID-19,” said the EAM.
“I welcome the opening of the border by the government of Australia, which will help those who have been in India waiting to come back, especially students, temporary visa holders, and separated families and this is something which is greatly appreciated,” he added.
Both leaders talked about regional and multilateral matters, global issues as well and also exchanged views on South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indo-Pacific region.
Both countries have committed to building more trusted and resilient supply chains and ensuring broad inclusive growth in the Indo-Pacific.
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During the Inaugural India-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Cyber Framework Dialogue, both Ministers recognised cooperation in the areas of cyber governance, cyber security, capacity building, innovation, digital economy, & cyber & critical technologies. They acknowledged the importance of the security and resilience of telecommunications networks and the need to work closely with each other to protect next-generation telecommunications networks, including 5G and 6G.
Foreign Minister of Australia Marise Payne took to Twitter and shared, ‘’India is a key partner for Australia & we share a vision for a resilient, inclusive & open region. Today Dr. S Jaishankar & I exchanged views on the strategic outlook in the Indo Pacific & reaffirmed our commitment to promoting regional peace, stability & security.’’
Maitri Scholars Program:
Australia has also announced the ‘Maitri’ Scholars Program under which it will provide over USD 11 million for four years to support Indian students to study in Australia’s world-leading universities.