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India-Australia ties in T-20 mode now: PM Modi

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Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday used a cricket analogy to describe the fast-expanding India-Australia ties, saying the relations have entered the “T-20 mode”.

Modi made the comments after holding wide-ranging talks with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese that focused on further expansion of the India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership.

The prime minister also invited Albanese and Australian cricket fans to India for the Cricket World Cup tournament which is taking place in the country later this year.

“I came here within two months of my friend Prime Minister Albanese’s visit to India. This is our sixth meeting in the last one year. This reflects the depth of our wide-ranging ties, the convergence of our views and the maturity of our cooperation,” Modi said.

“If I may say in the language of cricket, then our relations have come in T-20 mode,” he added.

Albanese visited India in March to attend the annual India-Australia summit.

“I am inviting Prime Minister Albanese and all Australian cricket fans to come to India for the Cricket World Cup this year. At that time, along with cricket, you will also get to see the glitter and pomp of Diwali,” Modi said.

“The perspective of India-Australia relations is not limited to only our two countries. It is also associated with regional stability, peace and global welfare,” Modi said in his media statement.

There has been a rapid upswing in ties between the two countries in the last few years.

Last year, India and Australia finalised the Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) and it came into force in December last. The two sides are now working on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

In June 2020, India and Australia elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support.

The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows the militaries of the two countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating the scaling up of overall defence cooperation.

On his part, the Australian prime minister also spoke about various aspects of the relationship between New Delhi and Canberra.

“In my first year as Prime Minister, I have met with Prime Minister Modi six times, which underscores the value we place on deepening ties between our nations,” he said.

“Australia is a better place because of the contributions of the Indian-Australian community, and we want to see more connections between our countries,” he said.

Modi arrived in Sydney on Monday on the third and final leg of his three-nation tour. He visited Japan and Papua New Guinea before travelling to Australia. (PTI)

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