PM Modi raises with Australian counterpart Albanese attacks on temples

Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday raised with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese India’s concerns over incidents of attacks on temples and activities of pro-Khalistani elements in Australia even as the two countries decided to conclude a comprehensive trade deal by the end of the year.

After wide-ranging talks between Modi and Albanese, the two sides also inked a migration and mobility partnership pact to open up opportunities for students, academic researchers and business people and to prevent illegal migration.

Modi and Albanese also witnessed the signing of the terms of reference of the Australia-India Green Hydrogen Taskforce which will explore opportunities in the area of renewable hydrogen.

“Prime Minister Albanese and I have in the past discussed the issue of attacks on temples in Australia and activities of separatist elements. We discussed the matter today as well,” Modi said.

“It is not acceptable to us that anyone hurt the friendly and cordial ties between India and Australia by their actions or ideology,” he said.

Modi thanked Albanese for taking action against those involved in such incidents.

“Prime Minister Albanese assured me once again today that he will take strict actions against such elements in the future also,” Modi said.

Referring to the frequency of his meetings with the Australian counterpart, Modi said it reflected the depth of the India-Australia relationship.

“This is our sixth meeting in the past one year. This reflects the depth of our comprehensive relations and the maturity of our ties. In the language of cricket, our ties have entered the T20 mode,” Modi said.

Modi said the two sides also held constructive discussions on strategic cooperation in areas of mining and critical minerals.

In the talks, the two sides also decided to focus on cooperation in areas of green hydrogen.

In his statement, Albanese announced that Australia will establish a new Consulate General in Bengaluru.

Ahead of the talks, Modi was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at the Admiralty House in Sydney.