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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has landed in Australia for an official visit. His talks with the Australian government will cover various topics, including defense, trade, and renewable energy. The dynamics of the bilateral relationship have shifted significantly since that time. The two nations have fostered stronger defense and security ties and even signed an interim trade agreement last year. Formal negotiations on a comprehensive deal are anticipated to commence soon.

A Rally in Sydney

Approximately 20,000 people are predicted to attend a rally at Sydney Olympic Park, where Prime Minister Modi will deliver an address. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also be present at this event. This comes as Australia is set to mark the milestone of having one million people of Indian origin. Many members of the Indian diaspora will journey from all over Australia to participate in this event.

Human Rights Issues

Some senators from the Greens party have urged Albanese to discuss alleged human rights violations against minority groups in India during the talks with Modi. Activists have claimed that numerous rights campaigners are imprisoned across India due to politically charged prosecutions, to which Indian government officials have not yet responded. Analysts suggest potential protests at the Sydney rally against Modi by Muslim and Sikh activists.

Strengthening Bilateral Relations Amid Global Tensions

According to Ian Hall, the acting director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Queensland’s Griffith University, the growing geopolitical tensions in the Indo-Pacific region have fostered the bond between Canberra and New Delhi. The complicated relationship with China, combined with the mutual desire to ensure a balance of power in the region, has fast-tracked this bilateral alliance.

The Quad and Trade Relations

Both Australia and India are part of the Quad security dialogue, which also includes Japan and the United States. Prime Minister Albanese stated that the relations between Canberra and New Delhi have never been better. India, currently the world’s largest democracy and most populous nation, is Australia’s sixth-largest trading partner. The two-way trade in goods and services was valued at $30 billion in 2022, as per official government data.

Looking Forward to a Prosperous Future

During this visit, Modi and Albanese have discussed a range of issues, including regional security, economic ties, and the impacts of global conflicts on developing nations. They have also established a hydrogen task force to expand cooperation on clean energy. As Australia seeks to diversify its export markets, the possibility of forging closer trade ties with India is being explored. Both leaders anticipate taking the Australia-India comprehensive strategic partnership to greater heights in the upcoming decade.

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