CANBERRA, Nov 18 � India and Australia today agreed on a landmark framework for security cooperation across the spectrum in defence, cyber and maritime security and combating terrorism, including the threats posed by foreign fighters joining extremists groups, reports PTI.
At the summit talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first Indian PM to visit Australia in 28 years, and his counterpart Tony Abbott, the two countries also decided to conclude a long-pending Free Trade pact by the end of next year and an �early closure� of the civilian nuclear deal that will facilitate uranium imports to India.
Significantly, Modi made a reference to the need for expanding security cooperation and deepening international partnerships in the region in his speech to a joint session of Australian Parliament after the talks.
�But, what we do need is to work together and with others to create an environment and culture that promotes the currency of co-existence and cooperation; in which all nations, small and big, abide by international law and norms, even when they have bitter disputes.
�We should collaborate more on maintaining maritime security. We should work together on the seas and collaborate in international forums. And, we should work for a universal respect for international law and global norms,� Modi said in comments interpreted as a veiled reference to China.
Both India and Australia have reservations over China�s growing military assertions in maritime disputes with its neighbours.
In a joint statement issued at the end of Modi�s visit, the two countries committed themselves to working together to combat terrorism and transnational crimes.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that the existing Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism would be renamed to cover other transnational crimes, including on-going cooperation on illegal migration.
They noted the conclusion of a new Framework for Security Cooperation to guide closer bilateral collaboration across the security spectrum, including in defence, counter-terrorism,
cyber policy, disarmament and non-proliferation and maritime security.
The Framework demonstrates the unshakeable resolve of the two countries in combating and defeating terrorism, including the threat posed by foreign fighters joining extremist groups.
Noting that terrorism has become a major threat for all, Modi suggested a comprehensive global strategy and a resolve to isolate �those who harbour terrorists�.
After the summit talks at the Prime Minister�s office, just two months after Abbott�s maiden visit to India, the two countries signed five agreements on social security, transfer of sentenced prisoners, combating narcotics trade, tourism, and Arts and Culture.
Modi said the two sides also �agreed on seeking early closure on the civil nuclear agreement, which will give Australia a chance to participate in one of the most secure and safe nuclear energy programmes in the world.�
Modi and Abbott had summit talks in Delhi last month during which India and Australia sealed a civil nuclear deal.
Australia has about 40 per cent of the world�s uranium reserves and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of yellow cake annually. India and Australia had commenced negotiations for the sale of uranium in early 2012.
Addressing the Parliament, Abbott said, �If all goes well, Australia will export uranium to India under suitable safeguards because cleaner energy is one of the most important contributions that Australia can make to wider world.�