In their meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison also acknowledged the ‘incredible contribution’ of the Indian community in Australia.
In his first-ever meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Scott Morrison hailed the 'incredible contribution' of the Indian community in Australia and said the Indian nationals were 'very much welcome' to become part of the Australia family.
“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,” PM Scott Morrison said in his remarks during the bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Singapore on Wednesday.
While the two leaders discussed ways to further deepen the bilateral ties, including in areas of trade, defence and security, they also spoke about the recent rescue mission of an Indian Naval Commander and the upcoming visit of Indian President to Australia.
Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude to Australia and the Australian Navy for their help in rescuing Indian Naval Commander Abhilash Tomy, who was injured and his boat wrecked in a massive storm in the south Indian Ocean, approximately 1,900 nautical miles south-west from Australia’s Perth, while on his solo circumnavigation of the globe.
“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.”
The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra coordinated the rescue mission in conjunction with several agencies including the Australian defence department while the Royal Australian Air Force aircraft maintained a continuous watch till Tomy was rescued by a French fishing vessel in September.
PM Morrison promised to pass the message of gratitude to those members of the crew who helped in the mission.
In their meeting, Mr Morrison acknowledged the ‘incredible contribution’ of the Indian community in Australia.
“Before starting, Your Excellency let me express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart to Australia and to the Australian Navy,” PM Modi.
“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," he said.
PM Morrison also said Australia was looking forward to welcoming the President of India, Ramnath Kovind next week in Sydney.
“He [President of India, Ramnath Kovind] 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.”