India, Australia ink pact to expand counter-terror cooperation

first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) A pact to significantly expand counter-terror cooperation was among six agreements India and Australia inked today as the two countries called for strong action against those financing and providing sanctuary to terror groups.However, no breakthrough was achieved during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull who merely decided to direct their respective officials to hold an early round of negotiations for a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA).During their talks, the two leaders decided to significantly expand their ties in several key areas including defence, trade, energy and education.While Modi thanked Turnbull for passage of a legislation by the Australian parliament with bi-partisan support paving way for the country to export uranium to India, Turnbull said he was looking forward to starting the supply “as soon as possible”.Both the prime ministers anticipated that commercial exports of Australian uranium could begin soon, opening up a new avenue for Australia to support Indias energy requirement.The entire expanse of bilateral ties was reviewed at the talks including issues relating to Indian students studying in Australia and ways to deepen maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.”We took a number of forward-looking decisions to further strengthen our partnership, including the decision to soon hold the next round of negotiations on a CECA,” Modi said at a joint media event with Turnbull.Using cricket analogy, Modi, in a lighter vein, said “I am, of course, glad that our decisions are not subject to the DRS review system.” Decision Review System (DRS) is a technology-based mechanism in cricket to review controversial umpiring decisions.advertisementOn CECA, Turnbull did not give a timeline for the deal but said, “I think its fair to say that progress has not been as fast as either of us would have liked.”The two prime ministers have now asked negotiators on both sides to find a way out and list their priorities soon so that talks on it can move forward. There were indications that sticking points on the pact included issues relating to agriculture.On the threat of terrorism, the two leaders asserted that the fight against terrorists, terror organisations and networks should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against those who encourage, support and finance terror, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues.”They emphasised the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism and violent extremism and radicalisation and expressed their determination to take concrete measures to step up cooperation and coordination among the law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations,” a joint statement said.The MoUs signed provided for deeper cooperation in areas of health and medicine, sports, environment, climate and wildlife, civil aviation security and cooperation in space technology.Expressing happiness over cooperation in the energy sector, Modi said, “With the passage of a legislation in the Australian parliament with bi-partisan support, Australia is now ready to export uranium to India.”He also thanked Turnbull for Australias decision to join the International Solar Alliance.Referring to cooperation in the maritime sphere, Modi said peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific was key for economic growth.”We, therefore, agree on the need for a secure and rule- based Indo-Pacific. We are also aware that in this globalised world, challenges like terrorism and cyber security extend beyond the boundaries of our region and, therefore, require global strategy and solutions,” he said.Modi said cooperation between the two countries in the area of defence and security has reached new heights.The two prime ministers highlighted their shared desire to ensure that Indian Ocean architecture keeps pace with regional issues and addresses emerging threats and challenges in the region.Noting that both the countries have been victims of terrorism, Modi and Turnbull said the signing of the MoU on cooperation in combating international terrorism and transnational organised crime will help both countries to address global and regional security threats.”Our strong and vibrant strategic partnership is of course important for the security and well-being of our societies. But, it is also a major factor for peace, stability and security in our region,” Modi said.He said student exchanges are an important element of bilateral education cooperation and referred to more than 60,000 Indian students studying in the country.After ceremonial reception accorded to him at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Turnbull said ties between the two countries “are strong and will be stronger” because of this visit.Heaping praise on Modi, Turnbull said the Indian PM is leading this most remarkable nation on an extraordinary journey of growth and development.advertisement”The achievements of India are an admiration of the world. We in Australia look forward to working even more closely than we have done in the past.”We are bound together, ties of history, our values but above all of the peoples. So many people over so many years -? half-a-million Australians are of Indian background,” he said. PTI MPB/PYK SClast_img read more

Australian Open: Grigor Dimitrov battles past Nick Kyrgios to reach quarters

first_imgBulgarian Grigor Dimitrov kept cool in the Rod Laver Arena maelstrom to knock home favourite Nick Kyrgios out of the Australian Open in a fourth-round thriller on Sunday.Third seed Dimitrov absorbed 76 winners and struck 64 of his own to edge a scintillating duel 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(4).While Australia’s wait for a men’s champion will now stretch to 43 years, Dimitrov will go into a quarter-final with unseeded British player Kyle Edmund brimming with belief that a first grand slam title is within reach.The 26-year-old showed enormous resilience and nerve to subdue a ferocious Kyrgios fightback, claiming victory after three hours and 26 minutes with a majestic forehand pass.As the combatants embraced, Kyrgios told Dimitrov to “believe” before the defeated 22-year-old left to a standing ovation. A year ago it was jeers after a second-round meltdown.”Playing against Nick is always tricky,” Dimitrov told former champion Jim Courier on court. “He was serving unbelievable. Playing unbelievable. Competing.”He deserves a lot of credit. He fought really hard and it’s one of the matches you have to be locked in.”Kyrgios did little wrong and said the match had been decided by the odd point here and there.”I lost tonight to one of the best players in the world. Went down swinging,” he said.The prime-time clash crackled with intensity from the get-go with Dimitrov’s elegant style contrasting with the explosive shot-making of maverick 17th seed Kyrgios.”Oh Nicky you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind” chanted the gold and green clad fans in a Davis Cup atmosphere.advertisementEven the seagulls perched on the roof appeared transfixed on the drama unfolding below.While Kyrgios’s histrionics are well chronicled, all the talk this past week has been the fact that he appears ready to fulfil his vast potential, especially after a superb victory over his idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in round three.HIGH-OCTANE TENNISDimitrov, who won the ATP Finals last year, had to play high-octane tennis to edge an intense opener in a tiebreak.Kyrgios’s only lapse arrived at 3-3 in the second set when he bunted a backhand long to hand Dimitrov a break point and then casually messed up a volley.For a few minutes it seemed Kyrgios might unravel but his growing maturity was evident as he re-grouped and seized on a tight service game by Dimitrov at 5-4, saving a set point, before breaking back to huge roars from the crowd.Dimitrov is made of stern stuff these days though and edged another tiebreak. He constructed a beautiful point, finishing a long rally with a stealthy volley, to move 3-1 ahead.Kyrgios belted away a backhand and then whipped away a forehand to drag it back to 4-4 but Dimitrov replied with a punishing forehand down the line to move 5-4 ahead before a couple of Kyrgios errors gave the Bulgarian a two-set lead.Despite the deficit, Kyrgios’s body language bristled with intent and he took the third set after breaking at 2-2.The comeback looked on as Kyrgios cranked up his serving power, belting down four aces to level at 2-2 in the fourth.Yet the 22-year-old Australian’s hopes looked toast when he buried a smash into the net to hand Dimitrov a 5-3 lead.The drama was not over though as Dimitrov wobbled when serving for victory. He served a double fault at 15-30 and then watched a backhand fly past him as Kyrgios broke back.Dimitrov recovered his poise with a love hold but Kyrgios replied in kind with a 36th ace to force another tiebreak.Once again it was Dimitov’s calm under pressure that was key as he put together another clinical tiebreaker to take victory.(Source: Reuters)last_img read more