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Business News/ News / World/  India, France, Australia  plan to upgrade trilateral partnership
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India, France, Australia  plan to upgrade trilateral partnership

The trilateral partnership focused on maritime security, the blue economy and humanitarian relief efforts in the Indo-Pacific was unveiled in 2021.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar (PTI)Premium
External affairs minister S Jaishankar (PTI)

New Delhi: India, France and Australia are discussing raising their trilateral partnership to a leader's level grouping at an early opportunity, according to two officials aware of the matter.

The trilateral partnership focused on maritime security, the blue economy and humanitarian relief efforts in the Indo-Pacific was unveiled in 2021. The first trilateral meeting took place at the officials’ level before being raised to the foreign ministers level in May 2021, when external affairs minister S Jaishankar met his French and Australian counterparts in New York on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers meeting.

The three countries are now mulling raising the grouping to the leaders level.

“We are absolutely considering it. However, we’re just waiting for the right time for a meeting between the three leaders," said one of the persons aware of the development.

According to the people cited above, the meeting may take place on the sidelines of a l President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia are expected to be in India for the G20 Leader’s summit in September this year.

Queries from Mint to the foreign ministries of the three countries went unanswered at press time.

The formation of the grouping was seen as a step forward for India’s new issue-based groups formed to tackle specific challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

“The Ministers agreed to deepen cooperation on maritime safety and security in the Indo-Pacific region," read a press release by the French foreign ministry in 2021.

The agenda includes cooperation on combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, helping develop blue economy and protecting marine biodiversity.

During their 2021 meeting, the three ministers expressed their desire to elevate the grouping to the leaders level.

“The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining the momentum of engagement, including at Leader-level, and to expanding trilateral cooperation to new avenues that can ensure security, stability, openness and prosperity for all in the Indo-Pacific region," said a press statement released by the three countries in 2021.

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Published: 27 Mar 2023, 11:40 PM IST
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