Modi-Morrison virtual summit: India and Australia sign key defense pact
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison held a virtual summit—Modi's first "bilateral" online summit with a foreign leader. The two leaders held discussions over ways to further broad-base bilateral ties in a range of areas such as healthcare, trade, and defense. The two nations have now signed a military logistics support pact. Here are more details.
Perfect time to strengthen India-Australia ties, says Modi
In his opening remarks during the summit, Modi said that he believed it is the "perfect time and perfect opportunity" to strengthen India-Australia ties. "We have immense possibilities to make our friendship stronger," Modi said, adding that this holds significance for the Indo-Pacific region and the world. Morrison complimented Modi for playing an "important part" in "stabilizing" the Indo-Pacific region.
'India's role in Indo-Pacific region will be critical'
Morrison said, "We're committed to an open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific and India's role in the region will be critical in the years ahead." Modi added, "The role of our comprehensive strategic partnership will be more important in this period of a global epidemic. The world needs a coordinated and collaborative approach to get out of the economic and social side-effects of this epidemic."
Decided to view coronavirus crisis as an opportunity: Modi
Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, Modi said, "Our government has decided to view this crisis as an opportunity. In India, a process of comprehensive reforms has been initiated in almost all areas. It will soon see results at the ground level."
Trade and investment between India, Australia growing: Morrison
Morrison noted that although trade and investment between the two nations were not where they needed to be, they were growing. He said, "The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that we are forming today is going to a whole new level of relationship." He said India's role in the global health scenario was critical, especially now that it chairs the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Executive Board.
India and Australia sign seven agreements
India and Australia have signed an agreement—the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA)—to allow reciprocal access to military bases for repair/replenishment of supplies besides facilitating scaling up of overall defense cooperation. The two nations also firmed up six other pacts aimed at providing bilateral cooperation in areas of cyber and cyber-enabled critical technology, mining and minerals, military technology, vocational education, and water resources management.Share this timeline