Topic:  Prime Minister Modi visit to Australia; U.S. – PNG defence agreement;

Tuesday, 23 May 2023


Simon Birmingham: It is a really exciting couple of days with the visit of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to Australia. [Indistinct] The Coalition government, during our engagement with India, we saw enhanced defence cooperation, a new trade deal signed and sealed, and we saw India brought into greater areas of engagement and dialogue with Australia, such as through the quadrilateral security dialogue. And all of that has created a very strong level of engagement, a mutual understanding and a commitment to ensure the peace and prosperity of the region that we share. And so this visit is a wonderful opportunity for the Albanese Government to take that strength of relationship and build upon it even further. To pursue an even deeper, stronger trade agreement, to enhance areas of defence cooperation and to ensure that our cooperation regionally is one that gives maximum benefit insofar as it helps to ensure Australia and India live and enjoy a region where all of the other nations of our region have the same type of security, stability and opportunity for prosperity.

Journalist: Just a question on U.S. agreement with PNG. You’ve got any commentary on that in terms of security based in the region? And for Australia going forward?

Simon Birmingham: Is very welcome to the United States and Papua New Guinea have sealed this agreement to enhance further their defence cooperation. The opportunity for Papua New Guinea to seize security benefits, also economic benefits from deeper, richer engagement with the United States is to be welcomed and the role that the US plays in our region is a crucial one as a force for stability, a force for upholding international rules. And so it’s work within Papua New Guinea can only help to ensure that all nations see the level of US commitment and that support in terms of the stability of our region. Thanks.