Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart PM Scott Morrison are likely to discuss a host of issues in the first-ever virtual bilateral summit today.

“This is the first time that Prime Minister Modi will be holding a “Bilateral Virtual Summit”, this signifies the strengthening of ties with Australia and its upward trajectory,” the MEA release read.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday issued a press release on the event, stating that the virtual summit is being held as PM Morrison’s visit to India could not take place amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The agenda

Several agreements, including one on mutual sharing of military logistics facilities, are expected to be signed during the summit on June 4, people familiar with development said.

Both leaders will review the broad framework of the relationship between India and Australia in the context of growing bilateral ties and will also discuss their respective responses to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Both (Prime Minister Modi and PM Morrison) are people person; they’ll be talking about how to work together to improve the lives of people. Both believe that the government is not about the number of agreements signed but improving the lives of citizens and generating jobs,” Australian high commissioner Barry O’Farrell has said earlier in the week.

O’Farrell said the summit will be “like a virtual interview between two friends”. “They may share commentary on the hard task of how to ease restrictions,” he stated.

Over the last year and a half, both leaders have met four times. Their first meet was in the year 2018, on the sidelines of East Asia Summit in Singapore, followed by the G20 in Osaka in June 2019, then during the G7 Summit in Biarritz in August 2019. The leaders last met during the East Asia Summit in Bangkok in November 2019.

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