New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday that his country and India have agreed on an early conclusion of the ambitious Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, with the expectation that it will itself be finalized this year.
“I am hopeful that we can finalize it this year,” Albanese said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi following bilateral talks between the two leaders.
“Our teams are working towards a comprehensive economic agreement between our two countries,” Prime Minister Modi said at the joint briefing.
Meanwhile, he added that security cooperation is an important pillar in the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Australia.
“We discussed maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region today,” Prime Minister Modi said.
Modi also thanked his Australian counterpart for inviting him to the Quad leaders summit in May.
“India and Australia are both Quad members. I thank Prime Minister Albanese for inviting me to Australia for the Quad Leaders Summit in May. I have invited him to India for the G20 Summit in September,” said Modi.
Both leaders also witnessed the exchange of several MoUs between the two countries.
The MoUs were signed in sports and audiovisual co-production, while job descriptions for the solar energy task force were also exchanged between India and Australia.
Modi also raised the issue of attacks on temples in Australia with Albanians.
“I have seen reports of attacks on temples in Australia. I have passed this on to Prime Minister Albanese and he has assured me that the safety and well-being of the Indian community in Australia is a priority for them,” the Prime Minister said.