21 November 2023
SUBJECTS: Australia's relationship with India.
RICHARD MARLES, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, Minister. It’s such a pleasure and an honour to meet with you again and it's great to be back in India again. And to be here at such an auspicious time with the World Cup. Can I congratulate India on the way in which it has hosted the World Cup, which has been just the most wonderful tournament and the way in which India has played. We feel lucky with the result last night, but it has been a great expression of not only the place of India in the world, but the friendship between Australia and India. It is hard to overstate how importantly we regarding India and our relationship with India. In a difficult world, particularly in the Indian Ocean, we are neighbors, we have a deep strategic alignment, but more importantly, we have shared traditions of democracy; the rule of law, freedom of speech and heritage, including cricket. And what that means is we want to be working closely together, but we see the heart of the relationship as being defence. This year has been a year of firsts. We’ve had so many first steps that have been taken which have built the ballast of our defence relationship and we are so pleased with that. It's been a high watermark of our defence engagement and we are very excited about the opportunity of our meeting today to take that forward into the future. We see the defence-to-defence relationship as critical for the whole bilateral relationship and we see our relationship with India as being right up there and its one of the most important relationships that we have in the world. Thank you for having me here today.