Modi holds talks with Australian counterpart Albanese; trade, defence, economy take centre stage
Modi with his Australian counterpart Albanese. Photo: Twitter

Modi holds talks with Australian counterpart Albanese; trade, defence, economy take centre stage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, focusing on boosting overall bilateral ties including in areas of trade and investment, defence and renewable energy.

Ahead of the talks, Modi was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at the Admiralty House in Sydney.

The bilateral talks took place a day after Modi addressed the Indian community at a rally in Sydney that was also attended by Albanese. During his address Modi had stressed that ‘Mutual Trust and Mutual Respect’ were the cornerstones of the historical ties between the two nations.

He said while earlier the ties between India and Australia were defined by the 3 Cs – Commonwealth, Cricket and Curry – it has now graduated to Energy, Economy and Education.

Boosting economic cooperation was one of the major areas of talks.

Last year, India and Australia finalised the Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) and it came into force in December last. The two sides are now working on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

Earlier, officials said the two prime ministers will also deliberate on the situation in the Indo-Pacific.

“Australia and India share a commitment to a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Together we have an important role to play in supporting this vision,” Albanese said on Monday.

Modi and Albanese also discussed ways to strengthen people-to-people links, renewable energy, and defence and security cooperation.

In June 2020, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support.

The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows the militaries of the two countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating the scaling up of overall defence cooperation.

In August last year, four Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets and two C-17 heavy-lift aircraft of the Indian Air Force joined a 17-nation air combat exercise in Australia.

(With inputs from agencies)

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