Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison are scheduled to hold a virtual meeting at 12:30 pm today. The two leaders are expected to commit to strengthening bilateral ties between the countries in sectors such as trade, mobility, education and critical minerals. The Australian PM is expected to announce an investment of Rs 1,500 crore in sectors such as technology, and critical minerals in India.
The Ukraine-Russia war is also likely to feature in the talks between the leaders. PM Morrison had said on Friday that the Ukraine situation and its implications for the Indo-Pacific region will figure in the virtual summit with PM Modi. This assumes importance since India, unlike other QUAD members like US, Japan and Australia, has refrained from condemning the Russian invasion. India has repeatedly called for resolution of the crisis through diplomacy.
However, earlier, the Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell had said that they understand India’s position. He added that it is evident from the comments of the Ministry of External Affairs and PM Modi himself that India has used its contacts to call for an end to the conflict. “No country will be unhappy with that,” he had said.
The India-Australia summit comes after the first virtual summit held between the two nations on June 4, 2020. That historic summit had elevated the relationship between the countries to a 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership'.
PM Modi and PM Morrison’s meeting comes soon after the meeting with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida on Saturday, where Japan announced an investment of Rs 3.2 lakh crore in India over the next five years.
(With inputs from Geeta Mohan)
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