PM Modi in Australia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese in Sydney. During the meeting, both leaders had a wide-ranging talk aimed at enhancing the ties between the two countries in several areas including defence, trade and renewable energy.
After the meeting, the two leaders also addressed a joint press briefing in Sydney. Speaking at the presser, PM Modi reiterated the incidents of vandalism of Hindu temples in Australia. The Prime Minister said that he raised the issue again and that his Australian counterpart has assured of strict action against perpetrators.
What PM Modi said on temple vandalism?
"PM Anthony Albanese and I have in the past discussed the issue of attacks on temples in Australia and activities of separatist elements. We discussed the matter today also. We will not accept any elements that harm the friendly and warm ties between the India-Australia relationship by their action or thoughts," PM Modi said. He also added, "PM Albanese assured me once again today that he will take strict actions against such elements in the future also."
It is worth mentioning here that pro-Khalistan supporters had attacked Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple, a prominent Hindu temple in Brisbane, in March this year. According to reports, this was the fourth incident of vandalism against Hindu temples in recent times in Australia.
New Australian Consulate General to come up in Bengaluru
Meanwhile, Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the opening of the new Australian Consulate General in Bengaluru, and said that this will help in connecting the country's businesses to India's booming digital and innovation ecosystem.
"I am pleased to announce the establishment of a new Australian Consulate General in Bengaluru, which will help connect Australian businesses to India's booming digital and innovation ecosystem. And I welcome India's plans for a consulate general in Brisbane," Albanese said at the joint press briefing. Notably, both leaders also exchanged the MoUs on mobility, migration, and green hydrogen task force.
It should be mentioned here that foreign diplomatic relations between Australia and India are well-established, with both nations sharing a "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership" since both were part of the British Empire. Both are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and share political, economic, security, lingual and sporting ties.
The relationship has grown in strength and importance since India’s economic reforms in the nineties and has made rapid strides in all areas - trade, energy and mining, science & technology, information technology, education and defence.
India and Australia co-operate in various multilateral fora. Australia supports India’s candidature in an expanded UN Security Council. Both countries have also been cooperating as members of the Five Interested Parties (FIP) in the WTO context. Australia is an important player in APEC and supports India's membership of the organisation.
(With inputs from agencies)