Indian community in Australia building bridges of friendship

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Melbourne, Jan 20 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna today said the Indian community in Australia is playing an important and constructive role in building bridges of friendship and understanding between both countries.

Addressing the Indian community at a function here, Krishna said: "The Indian community in Australia is playing an important and constructive role. All the Australian ministers I have met have had very good and positive things to say about the Indian community in Victoria and its positive contribution to Australia."

Krishna said: I have just met with the new Premier of Victoria Province, who had made the law and order situation in Melbourne as one of the major issues of his election campaign.

"Premier Ted Baillieu has assured me that the safety and security of the Indian community will continue to be addressed proactively and that he has already initiated moves to increase the number of police and guards on the transport system," Krishna added.

He further said that the Government of India has also taken quite a few measures to address the concern of our communities living abroad.

"We have introduced bills seeking to punish those who have provided false or misleading information to student and make it mandatory for all education agents to register themselves," he added

"We have recently introduced the Indian Community Welfare Fund to provide financial assistance to Indian citizens in need and have used this to assist several needy citizens and students in Australia," he said.

He said in August 2009, the issue of the attacks on Indian students and members of the Indian community was at its height.

"I had assumed charge as External Affairs Minister barely three months earlier, when I visited Australia then," said Krishna.

"Since then, both the Government of Australia and the Government of Victoria Province have introduced many measures to improve the safety and security of the students and these measures have had a positive effect," he added.

He further said the purpose of his visit to Melbourne was the for annual framework dialogue held between the foreign ministers of both the countries.

"I had very good and constructive discussions with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. We covered the entire range of bilateral issues as also regional and multilateral issues," he added. (ANI)

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