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Foreign Minister welcomes Indian Minister of External Affairs



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Minister’s Office: 02 6277 7500 or 0466 745 615 DFAT: 02 6261 1555

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP

FOREIGN MINISTER WELCOMES INDIAN MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd will tomorrow meet Indian External Affairs Minister, Shri S.M Krishna in Melbourne and conduct the annual Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue.

Mr Rudd welcomed the bilateral discussions and said that India’s emergence as a new world power had particular significance for Australia.

“India is the world’s largest democracy and a major power,” Mr Rudd said.

“Our relationship with India is one of our nation’s most important. This annual Minister-level dialogue is testament to the strength of the bilateral political and economic relationship.

“As the dynamic Indian economy develops, India’s need for our resources and services will also grow.

“I will underline Australia’s commitment of being a long term supplier of natural resources to India to support its economic growth trajectory.”

Mr Rudd welcomed the solid progress that the relationship has made over the years, specifically under the Strategic Partnership agreed with Prime Minister Singh in November 2009.

“The Strategic Partnership elevated the bilateral relationship to a new level. It provides the key framework for bilateral cooperation in our region and in multilateral institutions.”

A key focus for this meeting will be discussions on regional architecture and international institutions - including how Australia and India can together take forward the work of the East Asia Summit.

Mr Rudd said he was looking west as Australia sought to intensify cooperation with India on maritime security concerns including piracy and people smuggling in the Indian Ocean.

Discussions will also focus on the priority that the Australian Government has placed on efforts to ensure that Indian students receive a first class education experience.

Minister’s Office:02 6277 7500 or 0466 745 615 DFAT: 02 6261 1555

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The Indian community in Australia numbers over 300,000, with a number affected by the flooding devastating Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

“I thank the Government of India for their expressions of condolences to Australia at the loss of life and destruction caused by the flooding,” Mr Rudd said.

BRISBANE 19 JANUARY 2011