New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, will hold a virtual summit today where they will review the progress on various initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The first India-Australia virtual summit was held on June 4, 2020, when the relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
PM Modi and Morrison are expected to commit closer cooperation in trade, critical minerals, migration and mobility, and education, with Canberra set to announce investments worth a total of ₹1,500 crore (Aus$ 280 million). According to Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
“The India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has maintained the momentum of an upward trajectory with both countries continuing to collaborate closely, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, in wide-ranging areas including science and technology, defence, cyber, critical and strategic materials, water resource management, as well as public administration and governance,” the PMO said in a release.
The summit comes amid the Russian aggression in Ukraine and India’s separate stand on the conflict from other Quad members. India is the only member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue that has not deplored the Russian invasion of Ukraine or supported the US-led western sanctions against President Vladimir Putin, Russian banks and state-owned entities. India has also decided to buy crude oil from Russia at a discounted rate as the global prices soar due to the ongoing conflict.
“The Quad countries have accepted India’s position. We understand that each country has bilateral relationships,” Australian high commissioner Barry O’Farrell told a media briefing.
“And it is clear from the comments of the (ministry of external affairs and Prime Minister Narendra Modi) that he has used his contacts to call for the end of the conflict and no country will be unhappy with that,” he added.
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