Sydney, May 23
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese will on Tuesday attend a special community event here to celebrate the country’s dynamic, diverse Indian diaspora.
Modi is visiting Australia as a guest of the Australian Government.
He will address the community members at the event at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.
The event’s organisers, the Indian Australian Diaspora Foundation (IADF), are expecting a large turnout.
“The Indian Australian community is excited to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi after nine years. He visited Australia in 2014 and was greeted by a large crowd at Sydney’s community reception,” Jay Shah, one of IADF’s directors, told the Special Broadcasting Service, an Australian hybrid-funded public service broadcaster.
Supporters of Modi have organised special buses from Brisbane and Canberra.
Before leaving for Japan to attend the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Modi said that he will meet the Indian community in Sydney at a special event.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 census, 619,164 people in Australia declared that they were of ethnic Indian ancestry. This comprises 2.8 per cent of the Australian population. Among those, 592,000 were born in India. Prime Minister Modi last visited Australia in 2014.
Modi and Albanese will have a bilateral meeting on Wednesday.
In an interview with “The Australian” newspaper, Modi said he wants to take the relationship with Australia to the “next level”, including closer defence and security ties to help ensure an “open and free” Indo-Pacific.
He also said the Indo-Pacific region faces a number of challenges such as climate change, terrorism, security of sea lanes of communication and piracy, and asserted that India believes they can be addressed only through shared efforts.
“I am not a person who gets satisfied easily,” he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
“I have seen that Prime Minister Albanese is the same. I am confident that when we are together again in Sydney, we will get the opportunity to explore how we can take our relations to the next level, identify new areas of complementariness and can expand our cooperation,” he added.
He said he wants the two countries to push to realise the true potential of closer defence and security ties amid increasing defence links between the two countries recently.
“As two democracies, India and Australia have shared interests in a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. There is alignment of our strategic viewpoints,” he said.
“The high degree of mutual trust between us has naturally translated into greater cooperation on defence and security matters. Our navies are participating in joint naval exercises,” he said.