Richard Marles, the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, enthusiastically joined a game of ‘gully’ cricket and interacted with young players at the Arun Jaitley Stadium premises in Delhi.
This lively engagement took place on Monday as Marles spent time with cricket enthusiasts aged 14 to 18 on the stadium grounds. Additionally, he honored the former Union Minister Arun Jaitley with a floral tribute during his visit to the stadium.
Amid his visit, Marles also indulged in sampling street food and tried using digital payment interfaces for transactions. Alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, he visited Delhi’s National War Memorial, where they laid a wreath in tribute.
The purpose of their visit extends to co-chairing the India-Australia 2+2 dialogue with their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Marles emphasized the significance of India as a security partner for Australia, highlighting the practical benefits of their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that positively impact the Indo-Pacific region.
This year marked several milestones in the India-Australia defence relationship, including an Indian submarine’s visit to Perth and Australia’s hosting of Exercise Malabar. These events signify the deepening ties in defence and security, as stated by the Australian Foreign Ministry.
Marles emphasized, “Our collaboration with India plays a crucial role in ensuring an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.” Echoing this sentiment, Minister Wong highlighted the pivotal nature of the India-Australia partnership in fostering regional stability and prosperity.
The second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, slated in the national capital, is expected to encompass discussions on a wide array of strategic, defence, and security matters between the two nations.”