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Australian Foreign Minister to arrive today on 2-day visit

| | NEW DELHI

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, will be in New Delhi from July 18-19, to hold talks with her Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. Defence and education will remain focus areas for discussions as the two sides will explore partnership in these key areas. It is expected Sushma will take up India's concerns over Australia's new visa policy that is likely to hit Indians most.

Terming India as a significant economic and trading partner, Bishop said during her trip she will explore opportunities for Australia in the education sector and in developing innovative partnerships in the business sector.

"In India, I will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and join Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj for our bilateral Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue. We will discuss our shared interests in a stable Indo-Pacific, our deepening defence and security relationship, and how we can boost trade and economic ties," Bishop said in a pre-departure statement. Besides, the minister will deliver her second Indo-Pacific Oration in New Delhi, outlining how Australia and India can work together to build peace and prosperity, and to maintain a rules-based order in the region.

Australia's High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, said the visit places emphasis on India as one of Australia's top economic and security partners. "We are committed to exploring ways to expand our engagement even further," Sidhu said on Monday.

Bishop is also scheduled to meet union Defense and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar. She will also sign the International Solar Alliance.

"Our countries have a dynamic and growing knowledge partnership, flourishing people-to-people links and converging political, economic and strategic interests. And there is scope for us to do much more together," Sidhu added.

From New Delhi, Bishop will travel to Sri Lanka. "In Sri Lanka, I will meet President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake and other ministers to discuss security cooperation and explore new economic opportunities in science, resources and energy. President Sirisena and I will announce Australian assistance to combat dengue fever in Sri Lanka and discuss progress on the implementation of Sri Lanka's reconciliation process, which is critical to its long-term security and prosperity," Bishop said. 

 
 
 

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