EAM S Jaishankar discusses range of bilateral, global issues with Australian Foreign Minister; defends ties with Moscow

New Delhi: India`s External Affairs minister S Jaishankar on Monday (October 10, 2022) arrived in the Australian capital, Canberra, and addressed a press conference along with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong. While addressing the press, Jaishankar said that there are possibilities for increased cooperation between the two nations in various sectors.

“Encouraged to see the economic cooperation & trade agreement finalised earlier this year moving towards ratification. Steps are being taken to amend the double taxation avoidance agreement as that was a challenge to growing our business,” said EAM Dr S Jaishankar. 

The External Affairs minister discussed a range of issues with the Australian Foreign Minister including Ukraine conflict, QUAD, G-20 issues, trilaterals, the UN, IAEA, climate finance and sustainable development goals. 

“India and Australia believe in freedom of navigation in international waters, and in promoting connectivity, growth and security for all,” said Jaishankar.

During the press conference, EAM Jaishankar also said that the Indian government would like Australia to have a stronger presence in India. 

“We would like Australia to have a stronger presence in India. Our PMs had discussed it when they met in Tokyo,” said EAM Jaishankar. 

“There’s a proposal that’s been under discussion for an understanding of the mobility of talent & skills & how we can grow education bearing in mind India’s new National Education Policy,” he added. 

Jaishankar defends ties with Moscow

EAM said the Indian inventory of Russian origin weapons grew because the West would not supply arms to India for decades. The External Affairs Minister said New Delhi and Moscow have shared a long-standing relationship which has served the Indian interest well.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Russia, and this relationship has served our interests well. We have a substantial inventory of Soviet & Russian-origin weapons,” said Indian EAM. 

“This inventory grew for various reasons incl the West not supplying weapons to India for decades & in fact seeing the military dictatorship next to us as preferred partner. In intn’l politics, we make judgments which are reflective of our future interests and current situation,” he added. 

The statement comes as India is facing condemanation from the western countries for maintaining friendly relations with Russia as Putin-led nation wages war against its neighbour Ukraine

Jaishankar arrives in Canberra to ‘Tiranga welcome’

Jaishankar arrived in Canberra on Monday “to a Tiranga welcome”. He will hold talks with the top leadership of Australia to further enhance bilateral cooperation.

“Arrived in Canberra to a Tiranga welcome. So happy to see the old Parliament house of Australia in our national colours,” Jaishankar tweeted. In Australia, Jaishankar will be visiting Canberra and Sydney.

It is EAM`s second visit to Australia this year, the first was in February 2022 to attend the Quad Foreign Ministers` Meeting in Melbourne.The external affairs minister will also be meeting Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles.

(With agency inputs)

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