fbpx
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tony Abbott to meet Manmohan Singh

Reading Time: 2 minutesIndia to firm up strategic partnership with Australia, writes SAROJ MOHANTY
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh smiles in New Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet the new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott during his trip to Brunei this week during which a nuclear deal and negotiations on a free trade agreement are expected to figure.
The two countries are also looking to firm up a blueprint for future engagement.
Manmohan Singh will hold bilateral meetings, including with the Australian leader, on the sidelines of the India-ASEAN and the East Asia Summit Oct 9-10.
In 2009, the two countries had elevated their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. Since then, Australia and India have exchanged over 50 high-level visits.
After six years of centre-left government by the Australian Labor Party (ALP), Australia is under the right-wing Liberal-National Party (LNP) coalition led by Abbott, which swept to power in federal elections last month.
Foreign and defence policies were not major issues during the election campaign. However, with the LNP in power, diplomatic observers say some differences are likely in the way in which Canberra relates to the Asian region.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has repeatedly said her party’s foreign policy would be “more Jakarta-less Geneva”, a jab at her predecessor’s Kevin Rudd’s global roaming. And Abbott’s first overseas visit was to Indonesia.
India is seeking to conclude a nuclear trade deal with Australia’s new government by the end of the year.
Australia, the world’s largest holder of uranium reserves, and India have already held two rounds of negotiations for a safeguard agreement that will enable uranium sales for India’s nuclear power plants. According to Australian High Commissioner Patrick Suckling, the last round of talks was held in July and the next is scheduled for later this year.
It was Abbott’s party, led by Howard, that had decided to sell uranium to India in their last term in power and now they are keen to expedite the process.
The previous Labor government had in 2011 changed its long-held policy and reversed the ban on selling uranium to India as it has not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The India-Australia nuclear agreement will be consistent with Australia’s agreements with Russia and China for supply of uranium. One of the key conditions will be that India utilize the uranium for peaceful purposes.
Australia also wants to beef up defence cooperation with India. The navy-to-navy exercises will be held in 2015.
Australia wants stronger cooperation with India in infrastructure, education, agri-business, biotech, pharmaceutical and IT sectors.
Both sides are also trying to work out a collaboration for restoration of old films.
In the past decade, Australia has emerged as a country with tremendous opportunities for minerals and gas. The Adani group and GVK are among the largest Indian investors in Australia (over $17 billion and $10 billion, respectively), both seeking to exploit its coal mines and ship the coal to India and other places.
India is currently Australia’s 10th largest trading partner.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Podcasts

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

sexual assault survivor, sexual assault counsellor, sexual assault victim

I’m a sexual assault counsellor. Here’s why it’s so hard for...

0
  As a senior sexual assault counsellor working with Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, I often sit across from people on the worst day of...
dee domingo and raj shekhawat

A tinnitus update on World Hearing Day

0
  World Hearing Day is celebrated on 3 March to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness along with promoting ear care. I spoke to...
RITU WEDS CHANDNI BOOK COVER

Book Review: ‘Ritu weds Chandni’ by Ameya Narvankar

0
  "But what is wrong with that? Why shouldn't she marry Chandni didi?," asks Ayesha, the young protagonist in Ameya Narvankar's Ritu weds Chandni. The innocent...
axar patel indian cricket player

IND v ENG: A historic Test… for all the wrong reasons

0
  The only bigger joke than the wicket prepared for the 3rd cricket Test between England and India at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium, was the renaming...
Queer support group Trikone Australia’s Alan Maurice, Kunal Mirchandani and Ravin chat with Bageshri Savyasachi

South Asians talking about Mardi Gras

0
  Pride week has already begun in Australia! Since Sydney's fabulous Mardi Gras parade is coming up this weekend, I had a chat with members...