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‘We are United by the Ideals of Democracy’ Says Modi to Australian Parliament

Prime Ministr Narendra Modi will head to Fiji on Tuesday evening after his Australian visit, where he hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Tony Abbot and addressed the Australian Parliament in Canberra this morning.

Modi is the first Indian PM to address the Australian Parliament. Addressing the gathering, Modi raised his voice against terrorism, which he mentioned as a major threat now and urged people to fight against the same seeking their cooperation to tackle the issue. He spoke about the need of strengthening the bilateral security cooperation.

Speaking about Statue of Gandhi in Canberra as a symbol of shared values, Modi said, "We are united by the ideals of democracy. I consider nations such as ours to be blessed because we have the freedom to choose, the right to speak and the power to remove."

Mentioning the gap that has taken since 1986 for a PM to visit Australia, Modi said, Australia will always be the centre of India’s thought. He said, "It has taken a Prime Minister of India 28 years to come to Australia. It should never have been so. And, this will change. Australia will not be at the periphery of our vision, but at the centre of our thought."

Meanwhile, Modi said that Australia as an important partner for India’s quest for progress and prosperity. He also said, “India will be an answer to your search for new economic opportunities.”

During his speech, Modi has also mentioned about the cricket, saying, “We celebrate the legend of Bradman and the class of Tendulkar together. We are impressed by Australian speed as you are charmed by Indian spin, until of course Shane Warne came along.”

However, after his speech, Modi is likely to travel to Melbourne. He wil meet Governor of Victoria, Alex Chernov, after which he is scheduled to meet the CEOs and businessmen of Australia.

Amid, Modi said in a press conference that the countries have signed about five agreements. He said, "We 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 programme in the world."

However, Abbot 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."

Modi is expected to attend the reception hosted by Australian PM Abbot at Melbourne Cricket Ground at 1:30 pm. Abbot will also host a dinner for Modi at 2.30 pm here after which Modi is likely to leave to Fiji.

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