PM Modi, Albanese hold bilateral talks, discuss cooperation in various fields
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Wednesday held bilateral talks and discussed cooperation in the fields of defence and security; trade and investment; new and renewable energy, green hydrogen; critical minerals; education; migration and mobility; and people to people ties.
In a statement, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that the bilateral meeting took place at the Admiralty House in Sydney and Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome and Guard of Honour upon his arrival.
The PMO said that both leaders recalled their productive first Annual Leaders' Summit held in March 2023 in New Delhi and reaffirmed their commitment to further broadening and deepening of the multifaceted India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
"The discussions focused on cooperation in defense and security, trade and investment, new and renewable energy, green hydrogen, critical minerals, education, migration and mobility and people to people ties," the statement said.
Modi and Albanese also welcomed the signing of the India-Australia Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA), which will facilitate mobility of students, professionals, researchers, academics and others, including through a new skilled pathway named MATES (Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early Professionals Scheme) specifically created for India.
"They also welcomed the finalisation of Terms of Reference of the India-Australia Hydrogen Task Force, which will advise on opportunities to accelerate manufacture and deployment of clean hydrogen, focusing on hydrogen electrolysers, fuel cells as well as supporting infrastructure and standards and regulations," it said.
Prime Minister Modi also thanked Australia for its support in establishing a Consulate General of India in Brisbane.
"The two leaders reiterated their determination to ensure a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, underpinned by a rules-based international order. They also discussed reform of UN Security Council," the PMO statement said.
Meanwhile, Albanese expressed Australia's strong support to India's G20 Presidency and initiatives and Modi looked forward to welcoming his counterpart for the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September, it added.
As part of the final leg of his three-nation tour, Modi arrived in Sydney on Monday night as a guest of the Australian government.
In 2014, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia after Rajiv Gandhi, where he addressed 20,000 people at the Sydney SuperDome at Olympic Park.