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PM Modi plays perfect host, takes Turnbull on a visit to Delhi's sprawling Akshardham Temple

New Delhi: India and Australia today inked six pacts, including one to boost cooperation in counter-terrorism and transnational organised crime.  The agreements were signed after comprehensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Australian counterpart Malcom Turnbull. 

In his statement, Mr. Modi said that he along with his Australian counterpart has reviewed the entire gamut of India-Australia relations and taken a number of forward-looking decisions to further strengthen the partnership between the two nations. 

Mr. Modi said that he and Mr. Turnbull recognize that our future is deeply tied to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Both the sides agreed on the need for a secure and rule based Indo-Pacific. 

``We are also aware that in this globalized world, challenges like terrorism and cyber security, extend beyond the boundaries of our region. And, therefore, require global strategy and solutions,'' Mr.Modi said. 

He noted that Australian Prime Minister's understanding and insight into regional and global issues brings a new dimension to our cooperation on matters that concern us both. 

``Our cooperation in the area of defence and security has reached new heights. Our maritime exercises and exchanges have been productive. Our bilateral mechanisms on counter-terrorism and trans-national crimes are functioning well,'' he said. 

Both the sides also agreed that strong regional institutions are necessary for peace, prosperity and a sense of balance in the region. They agreed to work to cooperate more closely with members of the East Asia Summit and the Indian Ocean Rim countries. 

Mr. Modi said that strong and vibrant strategic partnership with Australia was important for the security and well being of the two societies. But, it is also a major factor for peace, stability and security in our region, he added.

Stressing that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and stability, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. 

They asserted that the fight against terrorists, terror organisations and networks should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures again stall those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues. 

The two Prime Ministers emphasised the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism and violent extremism and radicalization and expressed their determination to take concrete measures to step up cooperation and coordination among the law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations. 

Noting that both countries have been victims of terrorism, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime. 

``This overarching security understanding will allow links between Australian and Indian law enforcement, border and intelligence agencies to grow – ultimately improving both countries’ ability to address global and regional security threats,'' the joint statement said. 

India and Australia already cooperate closely on counter-terrorism through the bilateral Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. 

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