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Visit to Australia by the Indian Minister for External Affairs.



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Mr Smith’s Office: Courtney Hoogen 02 6277 7500 or 0488 244901 Departmental : (02) 6261 1555

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Minister for Foreign Affairs

M E D I A R E L E A S E

FA098 22 June 2008

VISIT TO AUSTRALIA BY THE INDIAN MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

Indian Minister for External Affairs, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, will visit Australia between 22-24 June.

This will be Mr Mukherjee’s first visit to Australia.

Mr Mukherjee and I will hold the Australia-India Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue in Canberra on Monday, 23 June. This will be the fifth such dialogue and the first since 2005.

I am very much looking forward to holding wide-ranging talks with Mr Mukherjee covering key bilateral, regional and international issues.

Both governments are committed to taking the Australia-India relationship to a new, higher level.

In Perth recently I delivered a speech India: A new partnership for a new century (extracts attached) about the importance Australia places on a much stronger partnership with India.

Mr Mukherjee’s visit follows significant high-level contact with India this year. In addition to Mr Mukherjee, six other Indian Ministers have travelled to Australia this year: the Ministers for Science and Technology, Civil Aviation, Commerce and Industry, Youth Affairs and Sport, Steel, and Food Processing Industries.

This underlines the growing depth and breadth of the relationship and the potential for an historic uplift in the relationship.

This century Australia and India can cooperate on a scale and a partnership not seen before between our two nations.