HomeIndiaNATIONAL"Respect India's Sovereignty": Australia Minister To NDTV On Khalistan

“Respect India’s Sovereignty”: Australia Minister To NDTV On Khalistan

Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has said they do not recognise any protest by Khalistani supporters on their soil, amid concerns over sporadic attacks on the Indian community.

Khalistani supporters had thrashed a group of Indians who were carrying the national flag in Melbourne in January, leaving five injured. More recently, they targeted India’s honorary consulate in Brisbane, with supporters of the separatist group raising the Khalistan flag at the honorary consulate office.

“We respect India’s sovereignty. The Khalistani issue which was raised has obviously been raised through protests. But they have no status. On the broader issue, I would say we have a society where we would expect any criminal activity to be responded to. We believe in a democratic society where people should feel safe, where people should be free to express who they are, they should feel respected in terms of their faith and heritage. We want that for our Indian diaspora…” Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong told NDTV.

She is in Delhi taking part in the G20 foreign ministers’ meet today and tomorrow. India holds the G20 presidency this year.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his deputy V Muraleedharan during their Australia visit on February 18 had raised India’s concerns over disturbances created by Khalistani supporters.

“Noted the forward movement on our bilateral agenda. Emphasised the need for vigilance against radical activities targeting the Indian community,” Mr Jaishankar had tweeted after meeting Ms Wong.

In Delhi, Ms Wong also spoke at length about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She called the invasion “disastrous for Vladimir Putin and Russia”.

“We have seen the world united against Russia’s aggression. Countries are standing steadfast with Ukraine because Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion abrogates the UN charter that protects us all,” Ms Wong told NDTV.

“We will remain steadfast with Ukraine until Mr Putin realises it is in Russia’s interest to resolve this… The reason we believe Ukraine matters (in G20 discussions) is because it violates the UN charter that has protected us since the Second World War,” the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs said.

G20 finance ministers on February 25 failed to agree to a joint statement on the global economy at talks in India, after China sought to water down references to the Ukraine war.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today said his country had “survived” a months-long onslaught of Russian strikes on critical infrastructure throughout winter. Today is the first day of spring in Ukraine.

“On March 1, 2023, Putin suffered his fifth major defeat since his full-scale invasion – Ukraine defeated his winter terror. We survived the most difficult winter in our history. It was cold and dark, but we were unbreakable,” Dmytro Kuleba said in a statement.


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