In a much-anticipated visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving in Sydney late Monday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. The visit marks a significant milestone in the growing partnership between the two nations, as leaders engage in comprehensive discussions on a wide range of bilateral issues. This is Modi’s second visit to Australia since he assumed office.
The two Prime Ministers are scheduled to have bilateral meeting in Sydney on Tuesday to discuss the whole gamut of bilateral relations. This will be their fifth meeting within this year.
Prime Minister Modi is also expected to call on the Governor General, David Hurley. Also planned during the visit is a business event where Prime Minister Modi would be meeting the leading CEOs from Australia.
Indian Prime Minister will also be addressing the Indian diaspora at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday, hosted by the Indian Australian Diaspora Foundation. Prime Minister Albanese is also expected to join. About 20,000 people from the Indian diaspora have been registered to attend.
The visit, which comes at a crucial juncture, underscores the shared commitment of India and Australia to strengthen their strategic ties across multiple domains.
“Australia and India share a commitment to a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Together we have an important role to play in supporting this vision”, PM Albanese said.
“As friends and partners, the relationship between our countries has never been closer. I look forward to celebrating Australia’s vibrant Indian community with Prime Minister Modi in Sydney”, he added.
Trade and economic cooperation will be among the top priorities on the agenda, reflecting the burgeoning commercial relations between the two countries. With India emerging as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and Australia serving as a key global player, the leaders aimed to explore new avenues for collaboration and enhance bilateral trade ties. Discussions will revolving around deepening partnerships in sectors such as agriculture, technology, renewable energy, and mining.
“At their bilateral meeting, the leaders will discuss trade and investment, including efforts to boost trade between the two countries through a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, and work to strengthen people to people links, renewable energy, and defence and security cooperation”, said a statement issued from the Prime Minister Office on Monday.
Defense and security issues will also capture a prominent place in the discussions, reflecting the shared interests and concerns of India and Australia in the Indo-Pacific region. The leaders will review ongoing defense cooperation, including joint military exercises, intelligence sharing, and defense equipment procurement.
Human rights issue may also come up in leaders talk although Australian leaders always shy away to criticize Modi government publicly over her worst human rights record.
Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government is accused of a repressive and intimidatory campaign against religious minorities, political opponents, independent media and civil society organisations.
Three Greens senators, including the party’s foreign affairs spokesman Jordan Steele-John, wrote to Prime Minister Albanese last week urging him to raise human rights violations against minority groups in India during Modi’s visit to Australia. They said they had heard concerns about freedom of expression, protest and movement in India from members of the Sikh, Muslim, Punjabi and Kashmiri diasporas in Australia< Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“They and their families are increasingly at risk by the increasingly aggressive right-wing agenda which is explicit in Modi’s governing system,” Greens senators said.
(Photo courtesy by PTI)