India-Australia ties gain momentum with meeting of prime ministers

New Delhi, Mar 9 (EFE).- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese together greeted a large crowd in India, demonstrating the closeness in ties between the two nations that share similar interests in the Indo-Pacific.

The “Narendra Modi” stadium, named after the Indian prime minister, in Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, had thousands of people waving flags at Albanese and Modi, who greeted the crowd from a small carriage at the start of a cricket match between the two countries.

The grand welcome, similar to those given to some of India’s closest allies, takes place in the Indian leader’s home state, giving it a special symbolism.

“As two cricket-loving nations, Australia and India share a fierce but friendly rivalry. At the heart of this contest is genuine respect, reflecting the affection and friendship between our peoples,” tweeted Albanese.

This is Albanese’s first visit to India as prime minister and marks the 75 anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The arrival of the Australian leader comes days after a meeting of foreign ministers of the QUAD, an alliance of Japan, the United States, Australia and India that seeks to counter China’s supposed expansionist goals in the Indo-Pacific region.

Relations between New Delhi and Canberra gained momentum almost a year ago following the signing of the historic Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), for the development of Indo-Pacific through increased bilateral trade in key areas such as textiles, pharmaceuticals and information technology.

India, which represents a market of 1.4 billion people, believes this agreement will almost double bilateral trade to about $50 billion. EFE


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