PM Modi Meets Former Australian PM Tony Abbott; Discusses Bilateral Relations

Former Australian PM Abbott is visiting India from August 2-6 in his capacity as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Special Trade Envoy for India.

PM Modi Meets Former Australian PM Tony Abbott; Discusses Bilateral Relations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met former Australian premier Tony Abbott.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met former Australian premier Tony Abbott on Thursday with the two leaders emphasising that enhanced economic cooperation between India and Australia would help the two countries in realising their shared vision of a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

PM Modi and former PM Abbott, who is visiting India from August 2-6 in his capacity as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Special Trade Envoy for India, discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation to realise the full potential of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) here.

They emphasized that enhanced economic cooperation between India and Australia would help both countries better address the economic challenges emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and would also help them in realising their shared vision of a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, the statement said.

Prime Minister Modi expressed his satisfaction at the stellar growth of India-Australia ties in recent times and admired the important contributions of Prime Minister Morrison and former prime minister Abbott in this journey.

"Delighted to meet @HonTonyAbbott, Special Envoy of PM @ScottMorrisonMP. Had a good conversation on ways to further strengthen our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Also discussed the steps needed to energise our trade and economic relationship and boost people-to-people ties," PM Modi tweeted.

During the meeting, PM Modi also recalled his virtual summit last year with Prime Minister Morrison and reiterated his desire to be able to host the Australian PM in India as soon as conditions permit, the statement said.

At the virtual summit held between PM Modi and PM Morrison on June 4, 2020, the bilateral relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, under which India and Australia committed to encourage expanded trade and investment flows for mutual benefit and decided to re-engage on a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

The present visit by Tony Abbott is reflective of this shared ambition, the statement said.

At an online media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Abbott will also visit Gujarat to explore opportunities for expanding trade and investment.

"Naturally, he will also meet officials and other interlocutors both here and in Gujarat," Mr Bagchi said.

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