Indian PM Modi Urges Greater Security, Economic Ties With Australia

VoA - News Tuesday 18th November, 2014

indian pm modi urges greater security, economic ties with australia

SYDNEY - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed the importance of security and economic ties in a historic address to the Australian parliament.


Narendra Modi is the first Indian leader to visit Australia in 28 years.

He used an address to parliament in Canberra to highlight the importance of bilateral ties "for advancing regional peace and stability, and combating terrorism."

He has warned that the affluence he seeks for his nation of 1.25 billion people could be jeopardized by extremism and he has urged Canberra to work alongside India on security issues.

Trade, too, has been a pivotal part of Prime Minister's Modi speech, and said Australia was vital in India's bid for greater prosperity. - -

"I see Australia as a major partner in every area of our national priority, providing skills and education for our youth, a roof over every head and electricity in every household," said Modi.

Modi's government has its sights set on imports of Australia's uranium for nuclear power, after Canberra lifted a long-standing ban on sales to energy-hungry India.

The Prime Minister told parliament there were opportunities for Australia to provide education, health care and clean energy to India in the years ahead. Increased coal exports have also been discussed.

After signing a free trade agreement with China on Monday, the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is keen to sign a similar agreement with New Delhi.

"By the end of next year, we will have a free trade deal with what is potentially the world's largest market.And I want to make this declaration here in this Parliament: there are two can-do prime ministers in this chamber today, and we will make it happen," said Abbott.

Modi represents the world's largest democracy and one of its fastest growing economies. He is the first Indian leader to address the Australian parliament.

He has been feted by members of the expatriate Indian community in Australia, who consider him to be a charismatic figure and a modernizing influence on their homeland.

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