The two PMs meet at Asean conference in Indonesia

Prime Minister Scott Morrison met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ASEAN conference in Indonesia for the first time and this is how their conversation occurred between the two leaders:

Prime Minister Modi: First of all Your Excellency a very warm welcome to you. Before I start let me heartily congratulate you as Prime Minster on your new responsibilities. I am confident under your leadership that Australia will progress but also the bilateral relationship between our two countries.  

Before starting, Your Excellency let me express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart to Australia and to the Australian Navy. As you know recently an Indian Naval Commander who was taking part in an international competition to solo circumnavigate the globe met with an accident and the first response was from the Australian Navy they reached him and the quick response that he got from the Australian Navy meant he was saved. I would like again to express my gratitude.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison: Thank you very much. I met the first responding crew to that incident not that long ago and they were very professional and were very happy to have provided that assistance. So thank you very much and I will pass that on.  

Well Prime Minister thank you for the opportunity to host us here today and I am very much also looking forward to welcoming the President of India Mr. Ram Nath Kovind next week when he will be in Sydney and he will be hosted also by the Governor General but more importantly   he will be warmly welcomed by a very enthusiastic and strong crowd of Australians of Indian descent and I’m sure quite a few Indian nationals there as well and as you know when you came to Australia you had the warmest of all possible receptions and they are still talking about it.  

I was at the Deepavali festival last Sunday week and there were thousands and thousands of people out celebrating Deepavali and it was just a wonderful celebration of faith and family and that is what Australia is very much about and the Indian community in Australia is very vibrant, it is very strong as you know and is making an incredible contribution. The Indian nationals who have migrated to Australia are now the single largest group who are now migrating to Australia and they are being embraced in a very open and supportive community. They are being very very successful and we very much welcome them to becoming a much greater part of the Australia family.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison sends this message on the visit by the President of Australia, Shri Ram Nath Kovind:

“I look forward to welcoming His Excellency Mr Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India, and his wife, Mrs Savita Kovind, to Australia from 21 to 23 November.

President Kovind’s visit is a historic occasion, the first ever state visit to Australia by an Indian President.

During his visit, the President will have the opportunity to engage with the Indian-Australian community, one of the largest in Australia, who make a valued contribution across all facets of Australian life.

Our two nations have deep economic, government and people-to-people ties. We are strong democracies and share a longstanding commitment to the rule of law.

India is a critical partner in the Indo-Pacific region and a strong economic contributor to Australia. In 2017, our trade relationship was worth more than $27 billion.

Australia and India are close strategic partners and I look forward to building on our relationship as it continues to grow in strength.”

President Kovind and Mrs Kovind will travel to Sydney and Melbourne.   Their visit follows a visit by the Governor-General, His Excellency General Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Lady Cosgrove to India in March.


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