New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison held the 2nd India-Australia Virtual Summit today during which they reviewed the multi-faceted relationship between the two countries and exchanged views on regional and global developments.
At the outset, Prime Minister Modi expressed his condolences on the destruction caused by severe flooding in New South Wales and Queensland, and the resultant loss of lives.
Both the leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress made under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership established during the 1st Virtual Summit in June 2020. Prime Minister Modi expressed his satisfaction at the enhanced scope of the relationship which now covers diverse areas such as trade and investments, defence and security, education and innovation, science and technology, critical minerals, water management, new and renewable energy technology, Covid-19 related research, etc.
He thanked Scott Morrison for the special gesture in returning 29 ancient artefacts to India. These artefacts comprise sculptures, paintings and photographs, across centuries, some dating back to the 9th-10th century, from different parts of India. The artefacts include 12th century Chola bronzes, 11th-12th century Jain sculptures from Rajasthan, 12th-13th century sandstone Goddess Mahisasuramardini from Gujarat, 18th-19th century paintings and early gelatin silver photographs.
Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Morrison for taking care of the Indian community, including the Indian students, in Australia during Covid-19 pandemic.
Both the leaders also appreciated the increasing strategic convergence between the two countries as fellow democracies with shared values and common interests, which include a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
A joint statement was issued on the occasion covering various aspects of the deepening Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both sides also agreed to establish annual summits between the Prime Ministers under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, thus adding a special dimension to the bilateral relationship.
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