Jaishankar thanks Payne for reopening of Australian border

MELBOURNE: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday welcomed the reopening of the Australian border which will help stranded Indian students and visa holders to return to Australia.

Australia will open its border for fully vaccinated tourists and all visa holders, almost two years after borders were first closed due to COVID-19.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday had announced the country would open to all fully vaccinated visa holders, including tourists, on February 21.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, Jaishankar said that the two ministers held productive, useful, and wide-ranging discussions. “And a lot of our discussion reflects the real and profound transformation in our ties which is happened in this very difficult period of the COVID-19.”

“I welcome the opening of the border by the government of Australia, which will help those who have been in India waiting to come back, especially students, temporary visa holders, and separated families and this is something which is greatly appreciated,” he added.

Jaishankar informed both countries have concluded 12 Foreign Minster’s Framework Dialogue and the first Cyber Framework Dialogue. “The Cyber Framework Dialogue is a direct outcome of the virtual summit which was held in June when we elevated our ties to comprehensive strategic partners.”

He said his discussion today with Payne was ‘very comprehensive and very fruitful. “We looked at a very wide range of topics concerning the bilateral, regional and global partnership.”

“We shared our experiences to responding to the COVID challenges as well. Also assisting other friendly countries in particular with the vaccine. And we have committed ourselves to building more trusted and resilient supply chains and ensuring broad and inclusive growth in the Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar added.

This bilateral meeting comes a day after the 4th Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting on Friday. Jaishankar also held bilateral with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (ANI)