Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday said his recent visit to India has strengthened strategic partnership between the two nations.
"I recently travelled to India. The visit strengthened the strategic partnership between our two nations," Abbott said.
The Australian leader, who recently concluded his first official two-day visit to India said "two-way trade between Australia and India is around USD 15 billion a year and India is our second largest source of international students with over 30,000 currently studying in Australia."
"It also let India know that our country is open for business, and wants to do more business with our friends on the sub-continent," he stressed.
Abbott further highlighted his meeting with his counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee.
"This visit has deepened the friendship between Australia and India," he said.
Sending his greetings a month in advance, Abott wished 'Happy Diwali' to millions of Indians across the globe particularly to 4,50,000 Australians of Indian origin as he praised the role of Indians at Gallipoli in the First World War.
The Australian premier said "Diwali the Festival of Lights is marked by millions of people around the world, including many of the 450,000 Australians of Indian origin.
"It is a time to enjoy good food and entertainment, and to celebrate the bonds we share with family and friends. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of Diwali the triumph of light over darkness," Abbott said.
Highlighting the role of Indians in Gallipoli in the First World War, he said,?"In periods of conflict and uncertainty, Australians and Indians have worked, fought and?sacrificed together."
"Our men served side by side at Gallipoli in the First World War," Abbott said, adding "In?the Second World War, they endured extreme hardship after the fall of Singapore."
"Today, our two countries share growing trade and people-to-people links," the Prime Minister said.