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The 2nd Trilateral Dialogue Focal Points Meeting between India, France, and Australia

In September 2020, India, France, and Australia closely scrutinized the recommendations for new projects made during the first Trilateral Dialogue at the foreign secretary level.

The attendees took notice of the advancements made in the areas of multilateralism, the blue economy, marine resources, and the environment, as well as maritime security and humanitarian disaster relief. The next steps in their trilateral cooperation were also discussed.

France, India, and Australia conducted their first focal point meeting for their trilateral discussion in February 2021.

The meeting was co-chaired by John Geering (Europe and Latin American Division) and Mr. Gary Cowan (North and South Asia Division), First Assistant Secretaries of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Mr. Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary for Europe West at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs; and Mr. Bertrand Lortholary, Director of Asia and Oceania at the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. The attendees aimed to assess the advancement of concrete initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure its security, prosperity, and sustainable development.

Following that, the foreign ministers of the three nations virtually met during the Raisina Dialogue in April 2021.

In September 2022, there was a physical meeting of the foreign ministers of Australia, France, and India. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar participated.

After the meeting, EAM Jaishankar tweeted, thanking FMs @MinColonna and @SenatorWong for their dedication. He added that the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of France, Australia, and India had concluded. It was helpful in fostering collaboration on global and Indo-Pacific concerns.

On June 20, 2023, the Second India-France-Australia Trilateral Focal Points Meeting took place. The Australian side was led by Mr. Gary Cowan, First Assistant Secretary (North and South Asia Division), and the French side was led by Mr. Benoît Guidée, Director (Asia and Oceania). The Indian side was led by Shri Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Europe West), and Ms. Paramita Tripathi, Joint Secretary (Oceania).

In addition to enhancing multilateral involvement, India, France, and Australia have decided to continue their previous maritime security and safety cooperation in the Indo-Pacific area. This was decided during the Tuesday meeting of the trilateral focal points between India, France, and Australia.

The three parties reportedly expressed delight at the trilateral dialogue’s resumption, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

They decided to resume working together on the mechanism’s pillars, as mentioned below:

  1. Maritime Security and Safety, including HADR,
  2. Marine Global Commons, Environment, and
  3. Multilateral Engagement.

They agreed to look into the potential of hosting a meeting of the foreign ministers concurrent with the UNGA and identified major projects to be launched in the upcoming months, according to the MEA.