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India, France, Australia reaffirm commitment to free, rules-based Indo-Pacific

Third India-France-Australia Trilateral Focal Points meeting was held virtually (Photo credits: X/@MEAIndia)

The third India-France-Australia Trilateral Focal Points Meeting was held virtually on Wednesday, during which the three sides reviewed the progress made under maritime safety and security, marine and environmental cooperation, and multilateral engagement.

India, Australia and France reaffirmed their commitment to advancing their shared values and working together towards a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific.

The Indian side was led by Joint Secretary (Europe West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Piyush Srivastava and Joint Secretary (Oceania and Indo-Pacific) Paramita Tripathi. Director at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France (Asia and Oceania) Benoit Guidee led the French side and the Australian side was led by Sarah Storey, First Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asia Division, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The three sides reviewed the progress made under the three pillars of trilateral cooperation, including, maritime safety and security, marine and environmental cooperation, and multilateral engagement, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a release.

“They also identified new proposals for furthering the trilateral cooperation including under the framework of the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) mechanisms, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) cooperation, and multilateral engagements,” the release stated.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in a post on X that the discussions covered three areas for boosting cooperation.

“India-France-Australia Trilateral Focal Points meeting held virtually. Discussions covered areas for furthering cooperation under the pillars of Maritime Safety and Security, Marine & Environmental cooperation, and Multilateral Engagement under this framework,” he said.

Last year, during the second India-France-Australia Trilateral Focal Points Meeting, the three sides identified key projects to be initiated in the coming months.