Amid indications that a nuclear deal could be in the offing, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrived in Mumbai this morning on a two-day India visit during which the two countries would look at ways to deepen strategic ties and strengthen two-way trade and commerce.
Mr. Abbott landed in the financial capital, his first port of call, on a day-long visit during which he will interact with business leaders and select Indian CEOs.
He will also attend the launch of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan in India and be present for the felicitation of young cricketers by Australian cricketers like Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee at the Cricket Club of India. India’s Sachin Tendulkar will also attend the ceremony.
Mr. Abbott is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of sports but details have not been disclosed so far.
He will also lay a wreath at the memorial for the victims of 26/11 attacks at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace.
A big-ticket item on Mr. Abbott’s agenda as he leaves for the national capital in the evening, however, would be a civil nuclear deal with India efforts for which have been underway since 2012 after the Labour party reversed its decision to ban the sale of uranium to India because of New Delhi not being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“I am hoping to sign a nuclear co-operation agreement that will enable uranium sales by Australia to India,” he told the parliament on the eve of his visit to India.