Monday, Apr 15, 2024 | Last Update : 01:14 AM IST

  India   All India  03 Nov 2023  Australia, India should step up defence links: Oz Liberal chief

Australia, India should step up defence links: Oz Liberal chief

Published : Nov 3, 2023, 6:35 pm IST
Updated : Nov 3, 2023, 6:36 pm IST

Nuclear power is the only feasible and proven technology which can firm up renewables at the scale that is needed

Australia’s Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton. (Image: Wikipedia)
 Australia’s Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton. (Image: Wikipedia)

New Delhi: In a wide ranging discourse on India-Australia relations, Australia’s Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton called for enhancing the security and defence cooperation between the two countries, especially in view of the ongoing conflicts in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. He also called for frequent military training operations with other countries in Asia to enhance regional security.

The Australian leader was speaking in New Delhi at a public lecture on India-Australia Relations organized by the O.P. Jindal University’s Centre for India-Australia Studies, where he also dwelt on economic cooperation and energy security.

“We have been looking at events around the world with increasing concern; in Eastern Europe, Ukrainians continue to fight valiantly to repel Russian forces from their territory. In the Middle East 27 days ago, terrorists from Hamas attacked Israel. With the end of the Cold War, many prophesised the coming of a world of democracies. But they were wrong in the forecast regrettably. The days of disputes and the age of autocrats is not behind us. Times of terrorism have not disappeared. Recent world events are a reminder that civilisation doesn't tilt naturally towards democracy. Democracy is always under threat. Democracy needs to be nurtured and defended. This is a time for India and Australia to demonstrate the strength of our democracies. First, and most importantly, it's in defence and security. In these precarious times, we should aim to increase the tempo and the frequency of our joint military training activities and deployments. And not just at the bilateral level, but also multilaterally with our other partners in the region.”

Mr Dutton also warned about the true nature of authoritarian regimes. “This is not a time for appeasement. Whenever we witnessed authoritarian coercion and aggression, it is vital that nations large and small link together to unequivocally condemn such behaviour. Australia and India have collaborated with Japan and the United States, as part of the Quad, which is an emphatic statement of our desire for peace in the region. I truly hope that India recognises the sheer magnitude of its own influence to do good. India is one of the greatest accomplishments of growth and advancement of any nation in modern history and has emerged as the world’s largest democracy and one of the fastest growing major economies. The strength of Australia’s and India’s democracy also lies in strengthening our economic relationship. We signed the historic economic cooperation and trade agreement which is creating new ventures between our industries and businesses. The agreement of course, means that by the beginning of 2026, 100 per cent of imports from India into Australia will be tariff free. Another area where there is enormous potential for future mutual economic benefit is in energy security. India is, of course, a nuclear power nation with some 22 reactors in operation. Australia, at this point in time, is not a nuclear power nation. If we don't lift our moratorium to accommodate these new nuclear technologies, Australia risks becoming a nuclear power pariah.  Nuclear power is the only feasible and proven technology which can firm up renewables at the scale that is needed. We are exceptionally well positioned to unleash uranium export potential and support India's growing demand. The number of Australians with Indian ancestry today numbers more than 780,000. More than 100,000 visas were granted to Indians to study in Australia. The migration and mobility partnership agreement will facilitate a greater two-way flow of students or graduates of academics and business people. It will open new pipelines of friendship, opportunity and enterprise which multiply the connections between our two nations.”

Tags: peter dutton, india-australia relations, defence cooperation, economic cooperation, energy security
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi