Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has expressed satisfaction over the manner in which India is planning the security arrangements for a series of international sporting events this year.
Speaking at the Australia House in London on Thursday, Mr. Smith said: “So far as arrangements for the Commonwealth Games and the Hockey World Cup are concerned, we are satisfied that all the necessary consultations and coordination are occurring.”
The issue was discussed with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on the sidelines of the recent international conference on Afghanistan in London, Mr. Smith said in comments to the media, an official transcript of which was received on Friday.
There was no specific mention of the parties to the “consultations and coordination.” Nor was there a direct appreciation of the level of security preparedness in India for these games.
Sounding, however, a note of empathy, Mr. Smith said: “It is a very regrettable fact of the modern era that there are always risks, security risks, in major sporting events, whether they are conducted in Australia – the Sydney Olympics or the Melbourne Commonwealth Games – or whether they are conducted in India.”
Tracing how Canberra was constantly engaging New Delhi on these issues, he said: “When I was in India last year, I spoke to the Indian authorities about planning for the Commonwealth Games and the security arrangements for that. I was satisfied then, and I am satisfied now, that all the necessary coordination and consultation continues to occur. And of course, we are deeply interested in those arrangements.”
The various sports organisations in Australia were being updated on the “security and threat assessments.” It would be a matter for these associations and the individual Australian sportsmen like those associated with the Indian Premier League cricket tournament to decide on participation in the events in India, Mr. Smith said.