India, Australia eye close security ties as 9/11 anniversary

September 11, 2021

By Nidhi Verma and Aftab Ahmed

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India and Australia on Saturday vowed to deepen their security cooperation, especially after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, as the world marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Is.

India and Australia, along with the United States and Japan, are members of the Quad, an informal grouping of four large democracies in the Indo-Pacific primarily created to address the challenge of an increasingly powerful China.

Developments in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have seized power after two decades with the departure of US and other foreign troops, were a main topic of conversation between Indian and Australian ministers in New Delhi.

“Today is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is a reminder of the importance of combating terrorism without compromise,” Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said after discussions with his Australian counterpart Maris Payne.

Payne said India and Australia want to ensure that Afghanistan “doesn’t again become a safe haven for the breeding and training of terrorists”.

US forces toppled the Taliban in 2001 as they provided safe haven to Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the al Qaeda network, which claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.

“…we have a geopolitical environment that is in rapid flux and requires us, both bilaterally and with other like-minded partners, to safeguard our national interests as well as a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.” should respond adequately to ensure Jaishankar said.

International maritime disputes involving Myanmar and China were among other issues on which defense ministers of India and Australia were also brought together in talks on Saturday.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that the two countries have decided to enhance military engagement and invited Australia to participate in the production and development of defense equipment in India.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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