Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot will be on a five-day visit
to India in early August. Abott’s visit is aimed at strengthening economic and
trade relationships under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
During his visit, Abott is expected to meet business leaders and senior
politicians in India to bolster bilateral relationships and investment. The Australian
government will partially fund Abbot’s trip to India.
Also Read | Tokyo Olympics: India women’s hockey team beats Australia 1-0, reaches semifinal
Earlier, during a virtual meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, India had signed seven
agreements, including one on defence and mining.
India and Australia have also decided to expand defence cooperation by
enhancing the scope of military exercises and engagement activities to build
new ways to address shared security issues.
The Australian government will spend around $19,000 on Abott’s five-day
mission, the Guardian reported.
Also Read | Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne tests positive for COVID-19, in self-isolation
Guardian Australia reported that Abbott has signed a ‘conflict of
interest’ declaration, due to the former Liberal party leader’s ongoing role as
trade adviser to the British government.
Australian trade minister Dan Tehan had announced earlier that the government
would “partially support” Abbott’s trip to India.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Dfat)
said that Abbott will not be remunerated for this trip and will be travelling
on commercial flights.
Abbott is said to have developed a working relationship with Prime
Minister Narendra Modi. Australia’s Labor party however is unhappy with the
decision to send Abbott to India.
“It is inconceivable that the government couldn’t find anyone better to
advocate for one of the most important trading relationships with the most
potential than Tony Abbott — the prime minister they booted out,” said Labor’s
trade spokesperson Madeleine King.