Modi visit to the United States: Prime Minister Modi discusses bilateral, regional and global issues with Australian Morrison in the United States ahead of the first in-person Quad Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison here ahead of the first in-person Quad meeting hosted by US President Joe Biden and discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral, regional and global importance, including the Indo-Pacific.

The meeting between Modi and Morrison on Thursday came a week after they spoke by phone and reviewed the rapid progress of the India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership, including through the recent “two plus two” dialogue, and exchanged views on regional developments and the next Quad meeting.

This was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders in the post-pandemic period.

“They reviewed the progress made since the last leaders’ summit which was held virtually in June 2020, and they decided to continue their close partnership and cooperation for the mutual welfare of both parties,” said Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla to reporters during details of the meeting.

The last bilateral meeting was the Virtual Leaders’ Summit which was held on June 4 last year when the India-Australia strategic partnership was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the ministry said. Foreign Affairs (MEA) in a press release.

During the meeting here, Modi and Morrison discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral, regional and global importance, he said.

The prime ministers “resolved to continue close cooperation for mutual welfare and to advance their common goal of an open, free, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region,” MEA said.

India, the United States and several other world powers have spoken of the need to ensure a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific amid growing China’s military maneuvers in the region.

China claims almost all of the disputed South China Sea, although Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim part of it. Beijing has built man-made islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

“It’s great to meet my good friend and a great friend from Australia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when I visit the United States,” Morrison tweeted.

“A broad and productive discussion ahead of the first in-person Quad meeting as we seek to further deepen the partnership between our two countries,” said Morrison.

Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet: “It is always wonderful to interact with my good friend Prime Minister @ScottMorrisonMP. We have had extensive deliberations on strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade, commerce , energy and more. ”

According to the MEA statement, during their meeting, Modi and Morrison reviewed the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECSC) and welcomed the visit to India of former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. as Morrison’s special trade envoy to India, and noted the two sides’ commitment to reach a quick harvest announcement on an interim agreement by December 2021.

They stressed the need for the international community to urgently tackle the problem of climate change while Prime Minister Modi stressed the need for a wider dialogue on environmental protection, he said. said, adding that the two leaders also discussed the possibilities of providing clean technology.

Modi and Morrison agreed that “as two vibrant democracies in the region, the two countries need to work more closely to overcome the challenges of the post-pandemic world, among others to improve supply chain resilience,” he said. declared the MEA.

“The two leaders praised the immense contribution of the Indian diaspora to the Australian economy and society, and discussed ways to strengthen people-to-people ties,” the statement added.

Prime Minister Modi also invited Morrison to visit India.

“The Prime Minister mentioned that the Indian community was very well taken care of during the COVID crisis in Australia. He specifically mentioned this to the Prime Minister and there was appreciation for the contribution of the Indian diaspora in Australia, ”said Shringla.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi’s office said on Twitter: “Advancing friendship with Australia. PM @ScottMorrisonMP spoke to PM @narendramodi. They discussed a wide range of topics aimed at deepening the economic and people-to-people ties between India and Australia.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi called the meeting “another chapter in our comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia”.

“Another chapter in our comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia! PM @narendramodi and @ScottMorrisonMP met today. Discussed regional and global developments as well as ongoing bilateral cooperation in areas related to Covid-19, trade, defense, clean energy and more, ”Bagchi said on Twitter.

The meeting rose to prominence as Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held “two plus two” talks in New Delhi on September 11 with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton.

This was the first meeting between the Indian and Australian Prime Ministers since the AUKUS (Australia, UK and US) security partnership was unveiled last week by US President Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Morrison.

In response to a question, Shringla said Prime Minister Morrison briefly mentioned the Australian side’s rationale for trying to launch the AUKUS Alliance.

“He felt that the technology they received was appropriate and there was a brief discussion about it,” he said.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister’s Office described him as advancing friendship with Australia. “They discussed a wide range of topics aimed at deepening the economic and people-to-people ties between India and Australia,” the PMO tweeted.

The AUKUS partnership, seen as an effort to counter China in the Indo-Pacific, will allow the US and UK to provide Australia with the technology needed to develop powered submarines for the first time. nuclear.

Australia said its decision to join a security alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom was aimed at developing capabilities that can help with India and other countries to deter behavior that threatens peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.

In India’s first reaction to the contentious alliance, Shringla said on Tuesday that the new security agreement between the US, UK and Australia is neither relevant to the Quad nor will it have impact on its functioning, and they are not groupings of a similar nature.

Shringla said that while the UKUS is a security alliance between the three countries, the Quad is a plurilateral grouping with a vision for a free, open, transparent and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

The Quad includes India, the United States, Japan and Australia.

US President Biden is hosting the first in-person Quad Summit at the White House on September 24 in the presence of Modi, Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Developments in Afghanistan, the COVID-19 pandemic, and ways to expand cooperation for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific should be the central focus of the four Quad countries coming together.

France has reacted angrily to the formation of the new AUKUS alliance, as it caused Paris to lose a multibillion-dollar deal to build 12 conventional submarines for Australia. France is also upset by its exclusion from the alliance.

China has also criticized the formation of AUKUS.

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