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IANS

Quad's success is very important for regional and global stability, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday at India-Australia virtual summit emphasizing "commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific."

The US, Japan, India and Australia have an informal alliance called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, that positions itself as being committed to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

"There is also good cooperation between us in Quad. Our cooperation reflects our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific," said Modi.

Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison participated in the second India-Australia virtual summit on Monday.

Speaking during the summit, Modi conveyed condolences for the loss of life and property caused by floods in Queensland and New South Wales.

In the last two weeks, floods in eastern Australia have killed at least 21 people. Thousands of homes have been left uninhabitable.

Talking about comprehensive strategic partnership, Modi stated, "During our last virtual summit, we elevated our relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. And I am happy that, today, we are establishing the mechanism of annual summits between the two countries. This will create a structural mechanism of regular review of our relationship."

He said that relations between India and Australia have made remarkable progress in the last few years.

"Trade and investment, defence and security, education and innovation, science and technology -- we have very close cooperation in all these areas. Our collaboration has grown rapidly in many other areas, such as critical minerals, water management, renewable energy, and Covid-19 research," he stated.

Indian Prime Minister welcomed the announcement of the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in Bengaluru.

"It is imperative that we have better cooperation between us in cyber and critical emerging technologies. It is the responsibility of countries with similar values like us to adopt appropriate global standards in these emerging technologies," he said.

He also pointed out that the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement has made remarkable progress in a very short time. "I am confident that the remaining issues will also be agreed upon soon. The early completion of "CECA" will be crucial for our economic relations, economic revival and economic security," he stated.

He also thanked the initiative to return 29 antiquities.

"And the artifacts that you have sent include hundreds of years old idols and paintings illegally smuggled from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh as well as many other Indian states. And for this I express special gratitude to you on behalf of all Indians. Now all the idols and other things that you have given us back will be returned to their original place. On behalf of all Indian citizens, I once again express my heartfelt gratitude to you for this initiative," he added. 
 

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