New Delhi, March 21 (EFE) .- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Monday stressed the need for the two countries to finalize the free trade agreement “soon”, which led to further talks. A decade ago and the Quartet Security Dialogue (Quad) thanked the Security Alliance.
During a virtual meeting between the two leaders, Modi said, “In our comprehensive economic union agreement, the CECA, we have made significant progress in a very short period of time.”
The Prime Minister of India said that the conclusion of the agreement would “certainly boost” the economic security of India and Australia.
Morrison, for his part, also noted an agreement still in negotiation that “reflects the ambition we share and maintain our relationship” since the two countries strengthened relations in 2020.
“As I said, we are going to redouble our efforts to open up new opportunities and benefit our economies with our Temporary Comprehensive Economic Union Agreement,” the Australian Prime Minister said.
New Delhi and Canberra began negotiations on a free trade agreement in May 2011, but the process was suspended in 2015 after nine rounds. The dialogue was restarted in 2020 due to China’s increasing pressure in the region and the strengthening of relations between the Quad members.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Under Secretary of State for External Affairs of India, told a news conference after the meeting that the dialogue between the two leaders “covered a wide range of issues”.
“Security and security is an important part of the discussion and cooperation,” Shringla said.
India and Australia are members of the Quad Alliance with the United States and Japan, and both Modi and Morrison point to the goal of confronting China’s expansionist ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region “free, open and inclusive.”
The Australian Prime Minister said the focus of the conversation was “always focused on what is happening in the Indo-Pacific region”.
Quad leaders met in early March to assess the “impacts” of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to ensure that “such events do not occur in the Indo-Pacific region,” Morrison recalled. EFE
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