India, Australia assure each other of mutual help on COVID-19 crisis

Akhilesh Suman

File Photo- Australian PM and Indian PM

File Photo- Australian PM Scott Morrison and Indian PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Both leaders shared the response strategies of their respective governments and also decided to explore the scope of joint research to the health crisis.

Australian Prime minister Morrison was the first to urge Prime Minister Modi to approach G20 leaders for video conferencing on the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Modi took up the idea with Crown prince of Saudi Arabia, which resulted in the interaction between the G20 leaders.

Both leaders also expressed commitment to the broader goals of creating convergence on major strategic issues related to the Indo-Pacific region.

The quad of India, USA, Japan and Australia is one of the informal arrangements that both countries have been articulating to maintain balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Modi said the Indian Government is committed to help any Australian citizen stranded in India due to travel restrictions. Prime Minister Morrison assured Modi that the Indian community in Australia, especially students, will continue to be valued as a vibrant part of Australian society.

Both leaders agreed to remain attentive to the wider significance of the India-Australia partnership, including in the Indo-Pacific region, even as they focus on solving the present health crisis.