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EAM Jaishankar discusses Indo-Pacific, West Asia situation with Australian counterpart Wong

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Perth, Feb 9 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday met his Australian counterpart Penny Wong and discussed the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, the Indo-Pacific region, situation in West Asia and other regional and global topics.

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Jaishankar is in the Australian city of Perth to attend a two-day conference on the Indian Ocean beginning Friday.

Jaishankar would address the inaugural session of the conference, along with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Australian Foreign Minister Wong and her Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan.

"Delighted to meet FM @SenatorWong of Australia in Perth today as we gather for the 7th Indian Ocean Conference. Good exchange on our comprehensive strategic partnership and convergence on matters related to the Indian Ocean. Also discussed the Indo-Pacific, situation in West Asia and other regional and global topics," Jaishankar posted on X along with some photographs of the meeting.

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The 'Indian Ocean Conference' is a flagship consultative forum for countries in the region, organised annually by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in association with the India Foundation.

The seventh edition of the conference is being held in Perth on February 9 and 10 in association with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian government along with Singapore's S Rajaratnam School of International Studies and Perth-US Asia Centre, the MEA said in a statement on Thursday in New Delhi ahead of Jaishankar's travel to the Australian city.

The theme of this edition of the conference is "Towards a Stable and Sustainable Indian Ocean".

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The conference will bring together delegations led by ministers from over 22 countries and senior officials from 16 countries and six multilateral organisations, the MEA said.

"The conference will also witness the participation of over 400 social and corporate leaders, policy practitioners, scholars, professionals, and media personnel from about 40 countries," it said.

Since its debut in 2016 in Singapore, the Indian Ocean Conference has played an important role in bringing together countries and principal maritime partners of the region together on a common platform to deliberate upon the prospects of regional cooperation for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), it added. PTI SCY AKJ SCY SCY

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