Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

India, Australia To Work Together In Mitigating Terrorism

March 11, 2023
India Australia
PM Narendra Modi and the Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, at the Joint Press Statements at Hyderabad House. Photo: PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese have decided to work closely for a concerted action against globally proscribed terrorist entities and contribute to the common fight against terrorism and terror financing.

A joint statement issued after the first annual India-Australia Summit here said that ways to deal with global terrorism figured prominently during wide-ranging talks between the two prime ministers.

The two strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and emphasised the need for strengthened international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner.

The Prime Ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and emphasised the need for strengthened international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner, and to combat all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, whatever their motivation may be.

They called upon all countries to work together to root out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupt terrorist networks and their financing channels and halt use of terrorist proxies and cross-border movement of terrorists. They reiterated their condemnation of terrorist attacks in India and Australia, including the Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.

The Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of perpetrators of terrorist attacks being systematically and expeditiously brought to justice, and agreed to work together to take concerted action against globally proscribed terrorist entities and individuals, and closely work together in the common fight against global terrorism including through combating the financing of terrorism; monitoring and preventing illicit financial flows, money laundering and hawala; sharing intelligence and cooperating in investigative and judicial processes; countering radicalization and violent extremism; preventing misuse of modern technologies, including misuse of the internet for terrorist and violent extremist purposes; acting against internationally designated entities and violent extremist purposes; and acting against internationally designated entities and individuals, the joint statement said.

Albanese said that Australia looks forward to working closely with India to advance the Quad’s positive and practical agenda. He also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Quad Summit to be held in May this year.

The Prime Ministers renewed their commitment to supporting an open, inclusive, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific where sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected. They reiterated the importance of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

The Prime Ministers underlined the importance of being able to exercise rights and freedoms in all seas and oceans consistent with international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including freedom of navigation and overflight, the statement said.

They reiterated the importance of adherence to international law, particularly UNCLOS, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the South China Sea and underscored the importance of disputes being resolved peacefully in accordance with international law without threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo, and that countries should exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability.

Modi and Albanese called for any Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to be effective, substantive and fully consistent with international law, without prejudice to the legitimate rights and interests of any state, including those not party to these negotiations, and support existing inclusive regional architecture.

The Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthening cooperation through the Quad. They looked forward to continuing to work together with Quad partners in the Indo-Pacific, to advance their shared vision for a region that is free, open, inclusive and resilient, and to deliver on commitments from the 2022 Quad Leaders’ Summit.

This includes practical cooperation in areas such as health security, climate change and energy transition, sustainable infrastructure and connectivity, debt transparency and sustainability, space cooperation, cyber security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), maritime security, counter-terrorism, critical and emerging technologies and education.

Prime Minister Albanese looked forward to working closely with India to advance the Quad’s positive and practical agenda. Albanese was on a State Visit to India from March 8 to 11. He was accompanied by Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell, Minister for Resources Madeleine King, a high-level official delegation and a large business delegation.

Albanese visited Ahmedabad, Mumbai and before holding official level talks in New Delhi on his first bilateral visit to India.

Both Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the rapid expansion of bilateral relations facilitated by frequent high-level contact and exchange of ministerial visits, which have further strengthened and deepened cooperation across a diverse range of areas, including political and strategic, defence and security, trade and investment, education and research, agriculture and water, cyber and space, mining and critical minerals, climate change and renewable energy, and mobility of people.

The Prime Ministers welcomed sustained progress under the Defence and security pillar of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and discussed ways to further enhance it. Recognizing the increasingly uncertain global security environment, Prime Ministers underscored their unwavering commitment to strengthening the India-Australia Defence and security partnership to address shared challenges, and work towards an open, inclusive, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Welcoming the sustained momentum in bilateral and multilateral cooperation, the Prime Ministers agreed that the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was beneficial not only for both countries but also for an open, inclusive, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific, where the rules-based international order is upheld.

Prime Minister Albanese expressed Australia’s strong support for India’s G20 presidency and its priorities for the forum in 2023. They looked forward to India’s successful G20 presidency this year, and reiterated their commitment to work closely on issues of global interests and shared priorities to realise inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented outcomes, in areas such as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; technological transformation; inclusive and resilient growth; green development, climate finance and LiFE (Lifestyle for the Environment); reinvigorated multilateralism; reforms and international cooperation; mainstreaming gender equality and advancing women’s empowerment and inclusive leadership.

The Prime Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the landmark India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) on December 29, 2022 and emphasised the significant opportunities to diversify and expand two-way trade. They also noted with satisfaction the resolution of the long-standing issue of taxation of offshore income of Indian firms under the India-Australia Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

The Prime Ministers noted that future industrial security and decarbonization efforts require access to critical minerals and their reliable processing and availability. They reiterated their shared commitment to building secure, resilient and sustainable critical minerals supply chains essential to, inter alia, clean energy, electric vehicles, semiconductors, aerospace and defence.

The Prime Ministers recognised the urgent need to address climate change, implementing the Paris Agreement and delivering on the outcomes of COP26 in Glasgow and COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, and to accelerate efforts for ambitious global climate action, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.

Girja Shankar Kaura

The writer is a Delhi-based freelance journalist, who has reported and written on a wide range of subjects in an extensive career.