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Australia looking forward to strengthen ties with India: Abbott

Australia is looking forward to strengthen trade and economic ties and converging strategic interests with India, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Tuesday.



Melbourne: Australia is looking forward to strengthen trade and economic ties and converging strategic interests with India, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Tuesday.

Abbott's remarks came ahead of his counterpart Narendra Modi's visit to Australia next month, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country since 1986.

During his visit, Modi will address the Australian Parliament on November 18, after attending G20 Leaders' summit in Brisbane, Abbott said in a statement.

"This follows my recent visit to India and I look forward to continuing our discussions on strengthening trade and economic links and our converging strategic interests," the Australian Prime Minister said.

Abbott said that the leaders of five of Australia's key partners - French President Francois Hollande, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Germany's Federal Chancellor Merkel, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Modi would be visiting the country as guests of the federal government, coinciding with the G20 Leaders' Summit.

Parliament will be recalled for formal addresses by Prime Minister Cameron on November 14, President Xi Jinping on November 17 and Prime Minister Modi on November 18, Abbott said.

Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country since late Rajiv Gandhi, who visited in 1986.

Modi will visit Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

Preparations are in full swing in Sydney where Modi will address a huge gathering of Indian diaspora on November 17.

The event has been organised by Indian Australia Community Foundation (IACF).

"We were pleasantly surprised when we got 21,000 registrations within a span of three days, which is quite high than number of registrations at a similar event in the US. The population of Indian Diaspora in Australia is one tenth compared to America," IACF spokesperson Balesh Singh Dhankhar said.

"IACF has partnered with hundreds of community, social, religious and linguistic organisations that represent the incredible diversity and pluralism that defines India and three hundred thousand Indian-Australians," Nihal Agar, President of IACF, said.

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