Ties that bind – The Modi visit to Australia adds to the bipartisan strength of growing bonds

Source: The post is based on an article “Ties that bind – The Modi visit to Australia adds to the bipartisan strength of growing bonds” published in The Hindu on 25th May 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – International Relations

Relevance: India and Australia bilateral relations

News: The Prime Minister of India is on a three-day visit to Australia and had bilateral meetings on various issues.

What were the issues discussed in the bilateral meeting? 

The meeting included – a) opening an Australian consulate in Bengaluru and an Indian consulate in Brisbane, b) an agreement on Migration and Mobility, c) the finalisation of terms of reference for an India-Australia Green Hydrogen Task Force, d) Defence and security ties, cooperation on renewable energy, and critical minerals were also part of the discussions, e) the need to sign a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement by December was also discussed.

Despite their differing stances on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and western sanctions, they found continuing and common cause on maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, and dealing with an aggressive China.

Further, the PM also addressed a large gathering of the Indian-origin community and he said that the “real reason, the real power” behind the bilateral relations came from people of Indian-origin in Australia.

Issues related to activities of other groups and conflicts associated with the people of Indian origin were also discussed

The PM reiterated his worries over vandalism and attacks on community facilities and temples with pro-Khalistani, anti-India, and anti-Modi writings.

Must Read: India-Australia relations: Challenges and Significance – Explained

What lies ahead for India and Australia’s bilateral relationship?

Any attack on an Indian consulate is a valid bilateral concern. However, India must also put its attention to attacks by Australian citizens on Australian citizens and Australian property.

Any such attack definitely raise concerns and worries for India. However, highlighting them in the bilateral meeting would not lead to further strengthening of ties between the two nations. 

It would also not serve the interest of three D’s (Democracy, Diaspora and Dosti), which according to the PM bind the two countries.

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