Australian PM Morrison & PM Modi to hold virtual summit on Thursday


File Photo: PM Modi with Australian PM Scott Morrison

File Photo: PM Modi with Australian PM Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison would hold a virtual summit with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Thursday during which the two leaders would discuss bilateral ties and discuss their responses to the coronavirus pandemic as well as issues like defence, trade and maritime security, according to a media report.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Morrison said he was looking forward to discussing the countries’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and would hold talks with Prime Minister Modi through a virtual meeting on Thursday on various other issues, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.

“Prime Minister Modi and I will also discuss new opportunities in defence, trade, maritime safety and security, science and technology, and education,” PM Morrison said.

“As like-minded democracies and natural strategic partners, Australia and India are in full agreement that our strong bilateral relationship is key to a more open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” he said.

PM Morrison, who was due to visit India in January this year, had to cancel his trip following the bushfire crisis in south-eastern Australia.

On Sunday, PM Morrison shared his picture holding a plate of samosas and mango chutney on twitter and wrote ”Sunday ScoMosas with mango chutney, all made from scratch – including the chutney! A pity that my meeting with Narendra Modi this week is by video link. They’re vegetarian, I would have liked to share with him.

Prime Minister Modi responded, saying the samosas looked “delicious”, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News reported.

“Connected by the Indian Ocean, united by the Indian Samosa! Looks delicious, PM @ScottMorrisonMP!,” he said in the tweet.

“Once we achieve a decisive victory against COVID-19, we will enjoy the Samosas together. Looking forward to our video meet on the 4th.”

The deadly coronavirus has created havoc across the world, infecting 6,172,448 people and killing 372,136, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Australia has reported a total of 7,193 confirmed COVID-19 cases along with 103 deaths.