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"PM Modi personally initiated outreach to Australia": EAM Jaishankar

10 Feb 2024

Perth [Australia], February 10 (ANI): Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his commitment to strengthening the India-Australia partnership, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that New Delhi-Canberra is the most consequential relationship in the Indian Ocean.

Emphasising that it took India 20 years since independence for the first Prime Ministerial visit to Australia, Jaishankar said that the current PM Albanese held seven meetings with PM Modi so far.

The EAM was interacting with the Indian diaspora in Australia at an event in Perth on Saturday.

Taking to social media platform X, he said, "Addressed the Indian community in Perth today. Grateful for their contribution in strengthening the India-Australia Dosti."Addressing the event, Jaishankar said, "I have been foreign minister for five years, and this is my fifth visit to Australia. It is reflective of the great change that is taking place, in front of your eyes, in our relationship. This change started 10 years ago, when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India, and he personally initiated an outreach to Australia."He said that it is important for the Indian Ocean Conference to take place in Australia as it has focused the attention of the entire Indian Ocean on Australia and has given a certain perspective in Australia towards India.

The EAM highlighted that PM Modi has met all the Australian counterparts since 2014 and current PM Anthony Albanese seven times.

"Modiji has been the prime minister for two terms, so far...if you look at the last decade, every prime minister from Australia has met PM Modi. Current PM Albanese and PM Modi had seven meetings. I cite this as an example of new energy and new interest that have come," Jaishankar said.

He added, "I contrast it in a way to what used to be, it was rare in one generation to see a high-level visit. It took us 20 years since independence for the first prime ministerial visit to Australia."Elaborating upon the achievements of the Central government in the last 10 years, the EAM said that India has been able to solve the problem of hunger and health, while it aims to connect every house with electricity connection and piped water.

"In the last 10 years, we have built eight new airports every year. Every two years, three cities have metros. Every day 30 km of national highways are being built. And for the last 10 years, every day two new colleges are being opened... A country that today is in a position to provide nutrition to two-thirds of its population, a country that provides healthcare, has these problems that everybody in the world face," he further said.

Speaking on the India-Australia ties, Jaishankar called it the "most consequential" relationship in the Indian Ocean.

"So, the relationship is doing great. There is enormous commitment from India starting from the Prime Minister, to build on this partnership. I regard this as the most consequential relationship we have in the Indian Ocean," he added. (ANI)

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