Your Excellency, Prime Minister Albanese,
Delegates from both the countries,
My friends from media,
First of all, I heartily welcome Prime Minister Albanese on his first State Visit to India. Last year, both the countries decided to hold an annual summit at the level of Prime Ministers. And with this visit of Prime Minister Albanese, it is the beginning of this series. He arrived in India on the day of Holi and after that we spent some time together on the cricket field. This celebration of colours, culture and cricket, in a way, is a perfect symbol of the enthusiasm and spirit of the friendship between India and Australia.
Today, we discussed in detail about the various aspects of mutual cooperation. Security cooperation is an important pillar of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Today, we had a detailed discussion on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, and increasing mutual defence and security cooperation. In the field of defence, we have made remarkable agreements in the last few years, including logistics support for each other's armed forces. There is also regular and useful exchange of information between our security agencies, and we discussed on further strengthening this. To enhance contact and friendship among our young soldiers, we have established the General Rawat Officers Exchange Programme, which has started this month.
Today, we discussed on mutual cooperation to develop reliable and robust global supply-chains. Renewable energy is an area of priority and focus for both countries, and we are working together on clean hydrogen and solar. Trade Agreement – ECTA, which was implemented last year has opened up better opportunities for trade and investment between the two countries. And our teams are also working on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
People to people relations, is a major pillar of India-Australia friendship. We have signed a mechanism for mutual recognition of educational qualifications, which will be useful for our student community. We are also moving forward on the Mobility Agreement. It will be beneficial for students, workers, and professionals. The Indian diaspora is now the second largest immigrant community in Australia. This Indian community is making a significant contribution to the society and economy of Australia. It is a matter of regret that attacks on temples have been regularly reported in Australia over the past few weeks. It is natural that such news worries the people in India, and disturbs our mind. I have shared these feelings and concerns of ours with Prime Minister Albanese. And he has assured me that the safety of the Indian community is a special priority for him. Our teams will be in regular touch on this topic, and will cooperate as much as possible.
Prime Minister Albanese and I agree that our bilateral relationship is important for addressing global challenges and for global well-being. I explained to Prime Minister Albanese, the priorities of India's G20 Presidency and expressed my gratitude for Australia's continued support. India and Australia are both members of the Quad, and today we also discussed cooperation between us on this platform. I thank Prime Minister Albanese for inviting me to the Quad Leaders' Summit which is going to happen in May this year. After that, during the G20 Summit in September, I will have the opportunity to welcome Prime Minister Albanese again and I will be very happy about it. Once again, a warm welcome to Prime Minister Albanese in India. I am sure that his visit will give new speed and momentum to our relations.
DISCLAIMER - This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister's remarks. Original remarks were delivered in Hindi.