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Modi Australia visit firms for late May

But first, a bilateral meet with PM Albanese when the Australian Prime Minister visits India.

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It is expected that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Australia in the third week of May. Though the exact dates have not been announced, sources have indicated that the visit will follow the G7 Summit in Tokyo scheduled for 19-21 May.

PM Modi’s visit to Australia comes as part of the ongoing engagement of Quad leaders.

Comprising Australia, India, Japan and the United States, the Quad has gained importance over the last three years and is seen as an alliance to push back against China’s growing geopolitical involvement in Asia, particularly in the Pacific. The importance is such that the leaders of these four democratic countries have met four times in the last three years – virtually in 2021, and then later that year with President Biden hosting, Covid again pushing it back to a virtual meeting in March 2022 and then later with Japanese PM Kishida hosting in Tokyo. Australian PM Albanese is set to play host in 2023 in Sydney (Canberra is deemed too small to accommodate the four visiting leaders and their entourages.)

Australian PM Albanese and Indian PM Modi at the G20 summit 2022 in Bali

It is expected that the Quad leaders’ meeting will be held immediately following the G7 meeting in Tokyo, which concludes on 21 May 2023.

The meet is shaping up to further solidify the positions of the countries of the Quad, with India emerging as a key partner. While the other three countries – US, Japan and Australia – have formal treaties amongst them, India has no such agreement with individual Quad partners. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his latest book Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, has called India the wild card in Quad, given it is a nation founded on socialist ideology, and which spent the Cold War aligning with neither the US nor the erstwhile USSR. “(India) has always charted its own course without a true alliance system, and that is still mostly the case. But China’s actions have caused India to change its strategic posture in the last few years,” Pompeo writes.

Modi 2014 Australia visit
Modi had addressed a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in Canberra in his 2014 Australia visit

Narendra Modi will be making his second visit to Australia since he became Prime Minister in 2014. His previous visit was hailed for its resounding success and laid the groundwork for progressing trade talks between the two countries, which culminated in the signing of ECTA on 29 Dec 2022. PM Modi also established an important bond with his Australian counterpart then, Tony Abbot. It is a bond which seems to have endured, as Mr Abbot has strongly contributed to this relationship even after his time in Canberra. But what was most memorable to the Indian diaspora here in Australia, the local politicians and the Australian media, was Modi’s reception at the Allphones Arena in Sydney Olympic Park. A rousing orator, PM Modi captivated the 20,000 strong crowd with his 90-minute speech.

It is expected that PM Modi will again address the Indian diaspora on this visit, spending time in both Sydney and Melbourne.

In 2014, Mr Modi had addressed a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in Canberra. It is expected that it will be the United States President Joe Biden who will have this honour this time round, on his first visit to Australia as President.

Prior to the Quad meet, a bilateral meeting is to take place early next month between PM Albanese and PM Modi when the Australian Prime Minister visits India, taking with him the most senior industry leaders to have ever visited India.

Read More: PM Albanese to visit India twice in 2023

Pawan Luthra
Pawan Luthra
Pawan is the publisher of Indian Link and is one of Indian Link's founders. He writes the Editorial section.

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