Scott Morrison – Macron, Johnson and Morrison send video messages on Republic Day
French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were among the world leaders who issued video messages on Tuesday to greet the country on Republic Day. All of them pledged to work with India to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.
Macron referred to his country’s joint projects with India and their “Indo-Pacific ambition”, and said, “In the context of the pandemic, France and India share more than ever the same challenges, the same fights and the same willingness to treat everybody, and to be present all together to face the challenge of the pandemic”.
“We will fight together and we will win together,” he said.
Morrison noted that January 26 was celebrated as Australia Day and said the two countries pursue the same ideals of democracy, freedom, diversity and opportunity and are working to build a better world based on these principles.
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“The global pandemic has not divided us but has made us appreciate these shared ideals even more,” he said.
He described the comprehensive strategic partnership forged with India last years as a major step forward for the trade, investment, defence and scientific partnerships. “It speaks to our trust in each other, our common interests and our common values,” he said.
Australia Day also commemorates the country’s diversity, and there are now more Australians with Indian ancestry than ever before, he said.
Johnson, who was set to be the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day celebration but cancelled his visit to deal with a spike in Covid-19 cases in the UK, said the occasion celebrated the birth of the “extraordinary Constitution” that established the world’s biggest sovereign democracy.
He said, “I was hugely looking forward to joining you for this important occasion at the kind invitation of my friend, Prime Minister Modi. Alas, our common struggle against Covid has kept me in London.”
The UK and India are working to develop, produce and distribute vaccines that “will help to free humanity from the pandemic”, he said.
Johnson added, “I look forward to visiting India later this year, strengthening our friendship and striving for the quantum leap in our relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I have both pledged to achieve.”
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a letter sent to her Indian counterpart, conveyed her greetings and said new frontiers of bilateral cooperation were being opened alongside the traditional areas of engagement even amid the pandemic.
She expressed pride at a 122-member Bangladeshi tri-services contingent’s participation in the Republic Day parade.
Bangladesh on Tuesday became only the third foreign country to send a contingent for the Republic Day parade.