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India: France, Australia discuss ways to enhance cooperation in Indo-Pacific February 26,2021   |  Source: Live Mint

France and Australia on Wednesday deliberated on ways to enhance trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. An India-France-Australia Trilateral Senior Officials' Meeting was held with the three sides taking stock of the progress made on the outcomes of the foreign secretary-level Trilateral Dialogue held in September last year, including on maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), blue economy, protection of marine global commons, combatting illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and cooperation in multilateral fora.

The Indian side was led by Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Europe West), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), while the French side was led by Bertrand Lortholary, Director (Asia and Oceania). The Australian side was led by Gary Cowan, First Assistant Secretary (North and South Asia Division), and John Geering, First Assistant Secretary (Europe and Latin America Division). At the meeting, they discussed the next steps to be taken for furthering trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, the MEA said in a statement. The meeting comes amid China's growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, which has become a major talking point among leading global powers.

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