India, Australia to Jointly Work on Rejuvenating Ganga

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Canberra, Nov 18: India and Australia agreed to collaborate on rejuvenating the River Ganga during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. A day after given a heartiest welcome by the Indian diaspora in Sidney, Modi also left a mark in the Australian Parliament by addressing the members here today.

In a joint statement, both India and Australia welcomed the two-way exchanges and cooperation in river basin planning under the water partnership, and a new program of joint research on agricultural water management.

Both sides also welcomed co-operation between Australian and Indian universities, and in particular, the joint PhD programmes to encourage research.

During his visit here, Modi renewed his invitation to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to visit India again at his convenience. They also agreed that high-level visits played a key role in enhancing the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Today, Modi began his day with a visit to the War Memorial here, where he paid his tributes to those Australians who had died at war while serving their country.

He was also accompanied by his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott, where he laid a wreath in the Hall of Memory . Prime Minister Modi observed few minutes of silence at the memorial as a mark of respect and signed the visitor's book here before he left.

Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a warm ceremonial reception here at the forecourt of the Australian Parliament and offered a gun salute.

He also inspected a guard of honour during his visit here.

During his opening statement at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Prime Minister Modi said that both nations were seeking early closure to a civil nuclear agreement that will give Australia a chance to participate in safe and secure nuclear energy programmes. Besides, the two nations also decided to sign five pacts on several areas.

While addressing the joint session of the Australian Parliament, he placed Australia at the centre of India's vision of a prosperous and regional order, at the juncture of the Indian and Pacific oceans, at a time when security and maritime navigation were valued more highly than ever before.

After addressing the Australian Parliament here, Prime Minister Modi has arrived in Melbourne where he is scheduled to address expatriate Indians at the the 161-year-old Melbourne Cricket Ground and attend two other events hosted by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, before departing for Fiji for the third leg of his three-nation, 10-day trip.

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