'In India, we have friend who will help build our regions': Australian PM
India has taken an increasingly active role in the Indian Ocean and the wider Indo-Pacific region, said Scott Morrison
Speaking at the 6th edition of the Raisina Dialogue, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated and accentuated many strategic trends. He said the pandemic has also created momentum for like-minded countries to work together like never before and “inspired action to defend our collective interests.”
The Australian Prime Minister said liberal rules and norms are under assault and tensions over territorial claims in the Indo-Pacific region are growing and militaries are being modernized at an unprecedented rate.
“Liberal rules and norms are under assault. And there is a great polarization that our world is at risk of moving towards—a polarization between authoritarian regimes and autocracies, and the liberal democracies that we love,” he said, adding Australia and India being among members of the democratic camp, saying the two counties shared a passion for democratic freedoms, commitment to the rule of law, a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Morrison whose bonding with Modi is well known was effusive in his praise for the Indian Prime Minister for the role he played in Covid-19 vaccine distribution. “We welcome your leadership PM Modi, we welcome India’s leadership and engagement, whether it’s on the outstanding vaccines that are necessary and the ‘Maitree’ campaign that you have engaged in, which has seen over 64 million Indian made vaccines shipped to more than 80 countries.”
He said, “In India, I know we have a friend who will help build our region, where all nations can prosper. We have looked on with admiration as in recent times, India has taken an increasingly active role in the Indian Ocean and the wider Indo-Pacific region.”
With regard to relations between Australia and India, he said, “declaration of our shared values and interests, our capabilities and the deep trust we have for each other”, and this has led to new ways of cooperation in commerce, critical minerals, science, technology, defence, maritime security and critical technology issues.
He also said that the Australian government has “looked on with admiration” as India has taken an increasingly active role in the Indian Ocean and the wider Indo-Pacific region. It is a sign that India is “a friend who will help build our regions where all nations can prosper.”
The Australian Prime Minister welcomed the return of Australia to the Malabar naval exercise alongside India, Japan and the US in 2020.