India, Oz sign 6 pacts

Delhi and Canberra sought to provide a boost to trade and security ties in a meeting between PM Narendra Modi and his visiting Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull even as the much awaited free trade agreement remained elusive.

The two countries signed six agreements, including one for expanding counter-terrorism cooperation, but could not conclude negotiations for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement which they have been negotiating

The discussions also veered around energy with Turnbull saying that Australia is ready to supply uranium to India as soon as possible. The two countries had signed a civil nuclear cooperation three years ago but the actual supply has not yet commenced in the absence of any commercial contract.

Modi said Australia is ready to export uranium to India with the passage of a legislation in the Australian Parliament with bi partisan support.

A joint statement issued after the talks said Modi and Turnbull reiterated their support for continued bilateral nuclear cooperation and that they anticipated commercial export of Australian uranium to India could begin soon.

In the talks, Turnbull noted Australia's strong support for India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The Australian side also expressed its support for India's membership of the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement, the two export control regimes.

Resolving to deepen maritime cooperation, the two prime ministers recognised that India and Australia share common interests in ensuring maritime security and the safety of sea lines of communication.

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