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PM Modi holds first-ever virtual summit with Australia PM; Focus on closer bond


New Delhi, June 04: Prime Minister of India on Thursday held first-ever virtual summit with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison where the two leaders have discussed the broad framework of bilateral strategic ties and exploring ways to expand cooperation in areas of trade and defence.

This is the first time that Modi is holding a "bilateral" virtual summit with a foreign leader.

PM Modi holds first-ever virtual summit with Australia PM

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    During the virtual conversation, PM Modi conveyed his condolences to the COVID-19 affected people in Australia.

    "On behalf of the whole of India, I express my condolences to the COVID-19 affected people in Australia", PM Modi told Morrison.

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    While talking about the Indo-Aussie tie PM Modi said, "This is perfect time to further strengthen relations between India and Australia. There are endless opportunities to strengthen our friendship, it also brings with it challenges to turn this potential into reality, how our relation becomes a factor of stability for the region".

    PM Modi also assured Morrison that our country is committed to strengthening its relations with Australia.

    PM said, "India is committed to strengthening its relations with Australia, it is not only important for our two nations but also for the Indo-Pacific region and the whole world".

    "We share an ocean & we share responsibility for that ocean as well, its health, well being & security. The relationship we are forming around those issues on our maritime domain, I think is the platform for so many other things between our countries", said Scott Morrison.

    Meanwhile, a list of nine documents have been signed during the meet.

    While about discussing the coronavirus pandemic Modi said, "Our govt has taken the decision to view this COVID19 crisis as an opportunity. In India, a process of comprehensive reforms has been initiated in almost all areas. Very soon its result will be seen at the ground level".

    Referring to the health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan's taking charge as WHO's executive board Morrison said, "I commend India on its leadership on taking Chair of WHO's executive board. This is a very important time to be chairing that board & I have no doubt that India's leadership will be critical in dealing with difficult problems globally particularly in the health area".

    In 2009, the relationship between the two nations was upgraded to a strategic partnership level and since the time both countries have expanded their cooperation in a range of key areas.

    Australia recognised India as the "pre-eminent maritime power among Indian Ocean countries" and a "front-rank partner of Australia", in its White Paper on Foreign Policy on 2017.

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