New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Thursday held the first-ever virtual summit between India and Australia and emphasised that the two countries share deep and extensive ties based on the shared interest and values.

The two leaders stressed that the relations between the two nations have deepened, adding that it comes from the shared values, shared interests, shared geography and shared objectives between the two countries.

The two leaders also discussed the coronavirus crisis and called for a coordinated and collaborative approach to overcome the economic and social side effects of the pandemic.

"The role of our comprehensive strategic partnership will be more important in this period of the global epidemic. The world needs a coordinated and collaborative approach to overcome the economic and social side effects of this epidemic," PM Modi said, adding that India has decided to view this crisis as an opportunity.

PM Modi said that this global epidemic has affected every type of system in the world and the digital conversation between the two leaders is an example of similar effects.

"I believe that this is the perfect time, the perfect opportunity to further strengthen the relations between India and Australia. We have infinite possibilities to make our friendship stronger. How our relationships become a 'factor of stability' for our region and for the world, how we work together for global good, all these aspects need to be considered," he said.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that his country is committed to "an open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific and India's role in that region, our region will be critical in the years ahead".

He said that relationship India and Australia are forming around those issues on maritime domain is the platform for so many other things between the two countries.

"I commend India on its leadership on taking Chair of WHO's executive board. This is a very important time to be chairing that board and I have no doubt that India's leadership will be critical in dealing with difficult problems globally particularly in the health area," he said.

This was the first virtual summit between PM Modi and his Australian counterpart. Morrison was scheduled to visit India earlier this year but his trip was cancelled due to the bushfires in Australia.

The two Prime Ministers earlier had a telephonic conversation on 6th April 2020, where they discussed the ongoing COVID-19, including facilitation and support for citizens stranded in each other's country.

The virtual summit provides an opportunity for the two leaders to review the broad framework of the relationship, in the context of growing ties between India and Australia, and to discuss their respective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

(With ANI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma