New Delhi: The Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Tony Abbott called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Welcoming Mr. Abbott, the President said India attaches importance to its relations with Australia and wants to take forward the bilateral engagement. India - Australia co-operation has evolved into a strategic partnership based on shared beliefs in parliamentary democracy, secularism, multiculturalism, rule of law and close people- to- people contacts. Frequent exchanges at multiple levels have helped the two countries have a greater understanding of each other’s policy and positions. The two countries can work together for common benefit in the Asian era.

The President said India sees Australia as an important supplier of energy resources and a partner in ensuring its energy security. He invited Australian companies to invest in Indian infrastructure.

The President expressed his happiness over the bilateral agreement on co-operation in Civil Nuclear Energy which will be signed during this visit and said this will open a new chapter. He called for greater cooperation in counter terrorism and thanked Australia for its support of India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Responding to the President, the Australian Prime Minister said he was determined to do whatever he can to strengthen an already deep friendship. Describing India as an emerging democratic superpower, the Australian Prime Minister said that Australia recognizes India’s increasing importance in the world. He would do his best to encourage people of Australia see the potential for an even deeper friendship with India.

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