India, Australia are blessed nations to have functioning democracies: PM Modi

India, Australia are blessed nations to have functioning democracies: PM Modi

By: || Updated: 18 Nov 2014 03:17 AM
Canberra: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told a joint session of the Australian Parliament here, that nations like India and Australia are united for being blessed by having functioning democracies which allow for the flourishing of the human spirit.


"We celebrate the legend of Bradman and the class of Tendulkar together. We are impressed by Australian speed as you are charmed by the Indian spin, until of course Shane Warne came along. But, above all we are united by ideals of democracy," said Prime MInister Modi.


"Today, as I stand in this temple of democracy, I consider nations such as ours, to be blessed because democracy offers the best opportunity for the human spirit to flourish. Because, we have the freedom to choose, the right to speak


and the power to remove .....," Prime Minister Modi said.


Earlier, kickstarting his day's engagement Prime Minister Modi visited the War Memorial here, where he paid his tributes to those Australians who had died at war while serving their country.


He was also accompanied by his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott, where he laid a wreath in the Hall of Memory . Prime Minister Modi observed few minutes of silence at the memorial as a mark of respect and signed the visitor's book here before he left.


Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a warm ceremonial reception here at the forecourt of the Australian Parliament and offered a gun salute.


He also inspected a guard of honour during his visit here.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi then met his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott for summit talks here following which the two countries signed five pacts.


Earlier on Monday, he arrived in Canberra on the third leg of his four-city tour of Australia from Sydney, where he was received by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, reflecting the significance attached by Australia to the visit of Prime Minister Modi that comes 28 years after Rajiv Gandhi.


After addressing the Australian Parliament here, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to travel to Melbourne, before departing for Fiji for the third leg of his three-nation, 10-day trip.

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