Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on May 17 said that his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi would still travel next week to Australia despite the cancellation of the Quad leaders' meeting in Sydney and he is looking forward to welcoming him.
The Australian premier was responding to a question on whether Prime Minister Modi will still come to Sydney after Albanese cancelled the Quad leaders' meeting in Sydney on May 24 as U.S. President Joe Biden postponed his visit to Australia to focus on crucial debt-ceiling talks to prevent a catastrophic federal default.
Mr. Albanese, Mr. Modi, Mr. Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida were to attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit.
"Prime Minister Modi will be here next week for a bilateral meeting with myself," Mr. Albanese told ABC Radio in Brisbane.
Prime Minister Modi will also have business meetings and will hold a very public event at Homebush at the Olympic site in Sydney, he said.
"He will also be engaging with Australian-India business relations …I look forward to welcoming him to Sydney," Albanese said.
But he indicated Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would cancel his visit in the wake of Biden's announcement.
"Prime Minister Kishida … was just coming for the Quad meeting. There wasn't a separate bilateral programme," Mr. Albanese said.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Albanese said that Prime Minister Modi would certainly be a very welcome guest in Australia next week despite the cancellation of the Quad meeting.
PM Modi’s three-nation tour
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on May 16 announced Mr. Modi’s three-nation tour beginning Friday that included his visit to Australia from May 22 to 24.
In the first leg of his trip, Mr. Modi will visit the Japanese city of Hiroshima from May 19 to 21 for the annual summit of the G7 advanced economies.
From Japan, Mr. Modi will travel to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea where he will host the third summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) on May 22 jointly with Prime Minister James Marape.
In the third and final leg of the trip, Mr. Modi will visit Sydney in Australia from May 22 to 24.