Tag: Marise Payne

India presses for easing travel restrictions for international students

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Photo- India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr.S.Jaishankar & Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne. Source- @DrSJaishankar

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 12 September 2021: The issue of thousands of stranded Indian students enrolled in Australian universities and institutions because of Covid-19 international restrictions raised its head at the 2+ 2 talks between the foreign and defence Ministers talks in New Delhi. India pushed for their early return to Australia, which means easing travel restrictions amid the continuing pandemic waves in NSW and Victoria.

The lockout and other restrictions in NSW and Victoria being eased in itself are unlikely to happen till the vaccination percentage reaches 70 and 80 percent, as announced by the Australian PM Scott Morrison. Vaccinations are moving fast but when this percentage goal is achieved remains to be seen. The India High Commissioner Mr. Manpreet Vohra claimed in The Guardian interview that the pandemic situation in India is ‘vastly improved’. What is Australia’s assessment is not known?

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar raised the issue at the recently held 2+2 talks. The number of such students is around 17,000.

During press interaction, Dr. S. Jaishankar took up the issue with Minister Payne. Indian Express quotes him saying, ” “I specifically took up with Minister Payne the problems faced by Indian students in Australia and those wishing to go to Australia as well as the Indian origin community that is resident there.

The foreign minister stated that the government is considering the problems faced by students wishing to study abroad on a “very high priority” and is taking it up “very vigorously with our foreign partners”, including countries like US and Canada.

I think their frustrations, their feelings are completely understandable. Many of them would like to be at the institutions that they are already studying or want to study. So we discussed it in some detail today. Minister Payne shared with me what is Australia’s thinking about when students will be able to come,” Jaishankar said.”

In her response, the Australian Minister emphasized the vaccination drive taking place in the country in phases. Indian and other international students, she said, would return during phase three (phase two being partial reopening), and all overseas travel could open up in the last phase four.

A month back the India High Commissioner in Australia Mr. Manpreet Vohra had told Guardian Australia in an interview that “extended travel restrictions could cause frustration, uncertainty, and anxiety among thousands of students who have been unable to travel to Australia to undertake their courses, adding that online education was “not what they signed up for”.

“They signed up for education here in your universities, they continue to pay a substantial amount of tuition fees. They are getting online education, of course, but that really is not what they signed up for,” he said.

In the media statement issued at the end of 2+ 2 talks by Dr. S. Jaishankar says, ” I also specifically took up with Minister Payne the problems faced by Indian students in Australia and those wishing to go to Australia as well as the Indian origin community that is resident there. I urged that the difficulties faced by the students due to travel restrictions be sympathetically addressed as soon as possible.”

India forcefully pressing for the early return of Indian overseas students to Australia and receiving a guarded answer from Australia, portrays the challenging times the world is passing through. When will these students come back remains a moot question?

Marise Payne emphasises the role of Quad in challenges facing the Indo-Pacific

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Photo- ORG Video grab.

By Neeraj Nanda

NEW DELHI/MELBOURNE, 10 September 2021: Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne has emphasized the role of Quad, in facing challenges facing the Indo-Pacific. Payne was speaking at the Third Indo-Pacific Oration organized by the Observer Research Organisation (ORG) in New Delhi today. She is in India with Defence Minister Peter Dutton for the 2+2 talks with their Indian counterparts.

Payne said in the Indo-Pacific region Quad has been performing its role effectively including the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains, and environmental issues.

About international students, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs said, Indian overseas students, will be back in Australia as soon as possible.

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PHOTO- ORG Video grab.

The Minister disclosed an interim trade deal between the two countries was possible soon.

In her oration, the Minister touched on the issues of China, the Indian Diaspora in Australia, CSIRO’s knowledge partnership, and misinformation on social media among others.

Sunjoy Joshi, Chairman of the ORF welcomed the Minister, and the interactive session was conducted by Prof. Harsh V. Pant, Director, Studies, and Head of Strategic Studies Programme.

THIRD INDO-PACIFIC ORATION/MARISE PAYNE VIDEO

Payne and Dutton to visit across four Indo-Pacific countries, including India

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 8 September 2021: Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne, and Minister for Defence, Peter Dutton MP, will visit ‘close friends and strategic partners’ in Jakarta, New Delhi, Seoul, Washington, and New York soon. This will be the first visit of high-level Ministers from Australia in the Indo-Pacific region after the US-led Western forces quitting and the Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan.

The proposed 2+2 talks in News Delhi will also be a follow up to the recent visit to India by former Australian PM Tony Abbott, who also met the Indian PM, Narendra Modi.

A combined-media release says: “Minister Payne said that among the most pressing issues for discussion was cooperation on our region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuring the recovery takes place in a way that reflects our values and principles.

“During our meetings and engagements across the four countries, we will discuss our continuing partnerships to overcome the pandemic, including through the equitable, safe and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and our shared path to global economic recovery,” Minister Payne said.

Minister Dutton said the visits are an important opportunity to build on already strong defence relationships, particularly with the United States on the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting with my counterparts face-to-face to build on our already strong relationships and to discuss further our shared interests in keeping our region safe and secure,” Minister Dutton said.

Minister Payne said that among the most pressing issues for discussion was cooperation on our region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuring the recovery takes place in a way that reflects our values and principles.

“During our meetings and engagements across the four countries, we will discuss our continuing partnerships to overcome the pandemic, including through the equitable, safe and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and our shared path to global economic recovery,” Minister Payne said.

Minister Dutton said the visits are an important opportunity to build on already strong defence relationships, particularly with the United States on the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting with my counterparts face-to-face to build on our already strong relationships and to discuss further our shared interests in keeping our region safe and secure,” Minister Dutton said.

In New Delhi, the Ministers will attend 2+2 talks with External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

“These inaugural 2+2 discussions are a cornerstone of the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which is founded on a shared commitment to a secure, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” Minister Payne said.

“The relationship between Australia and India is at a historic high, as our nations work together to promote positive regional cooperation. The Ministers will discuss issues including economic security, cyber, climate, critical technology and supply chains, ” the media release says.

Australia delivers COVID-19 supplies to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

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Photo- DFAT

By SAT News Desk

PERTH/MELBOURNE, 4 June 2021: An Australian Defence Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft departed Perth this morning, carrying oxygen equipment for India and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Nineteen of India’s 36 states and union territories have already received Australian medical supplies from previous deliveries, including 3000 ventilators and 250 oxygen concentrators. These form part of our $37.1 million package of support for India. Working in partnership with the Indian Government, the Indian Red Cross Society, and local authorities are distributing Australian-donated supplies to people most in need.

A media release from Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women Senator Marise Payne with Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Defence, Senator Zed Seselja, Minister for International Development and the Pacific says, ” Today’s delivery coincides with the first anniversary of the elevation of our ties with India to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The C-17A Globemaster will transport an eight-tonne oxygen tank the size of a shipping container, which has been purchased by Indian firm Tata Steel and is used to store and transport medical oxygen in bulk.

This follows the Indian Air Force’s successful humanitarian airlift of other oxygen tanks from Australia on 5 May. The practical value of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has been demonstrated by the effective working relationship and interoperability between the Indian and Australian Defence Forces. PPE, donated by the Western Australian Government and delivered to Nepal and Sri Lanka, will provide essential support to frontline workers.”

“The Morrison Government has already committed $7 million for emergency relief to Nepal, with support to be delivered by trusted on-the-ground partners. We are also contributing $5.5 million for emergency relief in Sri Lanka as it faces its own health and humanitarian challenges,” the release said.

Australian medical supplies on way to India as the Govt. works on plans to resume flights from India

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 5 May 2021: Amid mounting criticism of the ScoMo government’s flight ban from India and proposals of jail and fine for those coming, the first batch of medical supplies from Australia to support the fight against the current deadly COVID-19 surge in India, departed today from Sydney in a chartered Qantas flight. The flight carries medical supplies including 1056 ventilators and 43 oxygen concentrators.

These supplies will be distributed by the Indian Red Cross and local authorities, says a media release from the office of Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs & Greg Hunt, Minister for Health and Aged Care.

Minister Marise Payne said that as close friends and strategic partners, Australia and India will stand together during this challenging time.

“India has shown great leadership and generosity to the world in exporting vaccines globally. It is time for the world to repay that generosity and Australia as a close friend of the Indian people is playing its part,” Minister Payne said.

“We express our solidarity and deepest support with India as it responds to this ongoing crisis and recognizes how difficult this time is for Indians and Australians in India and their loved ones.”

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Government had offered a significant package of support to the Indian Government.

“We are deeply passionate about supporting people in India, which is why we have reached out to support with medical supplies such as oxygen, ventilators, and PPE,” Minister Hunt said.

“At the same time, we are working on plans to resume travel from India to support Australians to get home.”