Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott on Tuesday and the two countries are likely to sign four to five agreements and MoUs on transfer of sentenced prisoners, combating narcotics trade and social security.
Modi, who arrived in Australia last week on the second leg of this three-nation 10-day tour, aims at a strategic partnership with Australia to promote India’s economic goals and security interests, including maritime security.
“While we have much in common with Australia, our political, strategic and economic relations have been below potential,” Modi had said in New Delhi ahead of his visit.
Pitching for closer strategic partnership with Australia, he had said it will support India’s economic goals, “promote our security interests, including maritime security, and reinforce our efforts to foster a climate of peace and stability in our extended continental and maritime neighbourhood.”
The two countries are likely to sign four to five agreements and MoUs after Modi’s talks with Abbott.
The pacts relate to transfer of sentenced prisoners, cooperation in combating narcotics trade, social security, tourism and culture.
Modi and Abbott had summit talks in Delhi in October during which India and Australia sealed a civil nuclear deal. The two leaders had directed their respective negotiators to conclude the administrative arrangements pertaining to the civil nuclear pact at an early date that will facilitate uranium trade.
Australia has about 40 per cent of the world’s uranium reserves and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of yellow cake annually. India and Australia had commenced negotiations for the sale of uranium in early 2012.
Modi, the first prime minister to visit Australia in 28 years after Rajiv Gandhi in 1986, is also expected to address a joint sitting of the Australian Parliament here. There are 450,000 people of Indian descent in this country.
Abbott will host a reception for his Indian counterpart at the iconic 161-year-old Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Modi’s four-city tour, three-day visit from November 16, covers Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.