Sydney [Australia]: Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Monday refrained from divulging details about the discussion on Khalistani extremism and cases of vandalisation of temples in Australia, between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart during the upcoming bilateral talks scheduled on Tuesday.
“It is not correct for me to prejudge what would be discussed between PM Modi and PM Albanese,” Kwatra said when asked if PM Modi and PM Albanese, in their upcoming bilateral talks, could discuss Khalistani extremism.
Kwatra made the above remarks while addressing a special media briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
PM Modi is to join the bilateral talks with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Sydney on Tuesday.
Notably, several cases of Khalistani extremism and brawls between Khalistani activists and pro-India demonstrators have recently come to the fore in several parts of Australia. Indian flags were burnt and even a Hindu temple was vandalised recently in Australia.
A question was raised before the foreign secretary regarding the same, reacting to which, he said, “I would only say that all issues of bilateral engagements including the issues of attaining harmony in our society and the safety and security of our two societies will be discussed.”
Kwatra also said that Australian PM Albanese will host a dinner for PM Narendra Modi, who will meet several officials during his stay in Sydney until Wednesday.
“Prime Minister will be in Sydney till Wednesday evening during this period. This is just to give you a bit of an outline of what lies ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to Australia in Sydney. He will hold bilateral meetings with the Honorable Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, also call on Governor General David Hurley and meeting with Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton,” Kwatra said.
He also said, “Prime Minister Albanese will also host a dinner for Prime Minister and during his upcoming two days of stay, honourable Prime Minister will meet leading CEOs and address the Indian community.”
“Here we will share more detailed information on his various engagements during his stay in Sydney over the course of a couple of days,” the foreign secretary added.
PM Modi reached Australia and was received by Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell and other officials upon his arrival.
During his visit, PM Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese.
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 the official statement released by the Australian government.
PM Modi will also meet Australian business leaders to drive Australia’s growing trade and investment relationship with India and take forward opportunities from the Australia-India CEO Forum held in Mumbai in March,” according to the statement.”
During the visit, the Prime Ministers will attend a community event in Sydney to celebrate Australia’s dynamic and diverse Indian diaspora, a core part of our multicultural community,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Australian PM Albanese said he looks forward to visiting India in September in New Delhi for the G20 Leaders’ Summit, the world’s premier forum for economic cooperation.
PM Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Papua New Guinea, hosted the third summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) jointly with his counterpart James Marape today.
Earlier, he visited Japan where he attended the summit of the G7 advanced economies and held bilateral meetings with several world leaders. The Quad Summit was also held on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima.