This was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders in the post-pandemic period

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC, US and discussed a broad range of issues of bilateral, regional and global importance.

During the meeting, the Prime Ministers discussed a broad range of issues of bilateral, regional and global importance, said a Ministry of External Affairs statement after the meeting.

They noted with satisfaction the regular high-level engagements between the two countries, including the recently held first India-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministers’ 2+2 Dialogue, it informed.

According to the statement, the Prime Ministers reviewed the progress achieved since the Leaders’ Virtual Summit in June 2020 under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and resolved to continue close cooperation for mutual well-being and towards advancing their shared objective of an open, free, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.

They expressed satisfaction at the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

In that context, they welcomed the visit to India by former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as PM Scott Morrison’s Special Trade Envoy for India, and noted the commitment of both sides to achieve an early harvest announcement on an interim agreement by December 2021, the statement added.

The Prime Ministers underlined the need for the international community to address the issue of Climate Change on an urgent basis, the statement said.

In this regard, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the need for a broader dialogue on environment protection. Both leaders also discussed possibilities of providing clean technologies, it stated.

The Prime Ministers agreed that as two vibrant democracies in the region, the two countries needed to work closer together to overcome the challenges in the post-pandemic world, inter alia to enhance supply chain resilience, said the statement.

It informed that, both leaders lauded the immense contribution of the Indian diaspora to Australia’s economy and society, and discussed ways to enhance people to people ties.

Prime Minister Modi renewed his invitation to Prime Minister Morrison to visit India, said the statement.

The last bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Morrison was the Leaders’ Virtual Summit held on June 4, 2020 when the Strategic Partnership between India and Australia was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.