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Updated: November 12, 2009 22:05 IST

‘We’ll use force of law to deal with attacks’

Special Correspondent
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President Pratibha Patil receives Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, on Thursday. Mr. Rudd later said Australia was committed to ensure the safety of Indian students.
AP President Pratibha Patil receives Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, on Thursday. Mr. Rudd later said Australia was committed to ensure the safety of Indian students.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday sought to reassure India that the country would deal with the attacks on foreign students with the force of the law.

“As Prime Minister of Australia, I am deeply disturbed and disgusted by attacks of violence against any foreign students studying in our country as guests. There have been criminal attacks targeting Indian students for the little money they earn to support their studies. These attacks will not be tolerated,” Mr. Rudd told the Indian Council of World Affairs.

He said the Australian government was working with all its states to make sure that everything was done to protect overseas students. At the same time, no government could guarantee that no acts of violence would occur. “Let us calmly work together to deal with future challenges as they arise.”

On uranium export

As for Australia’s position not to export uranium to countries that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Mr. Rudd said it was not directed against India but had been applied uniformly to all countries since 1978. Yet, Australia had actively supported India while the Nuclear Suppliers Group took the decision to lift the nuclear moratorium against New Delhi after the India-U.S. nuclear deal. “This reflected Australia’s appreciation of India’s non-proliferation record,” he said.

India and Australia were working together on matters that affected the wellbeing of literally everyone in the world, Mr. Rudd said. He looked forward to working with New Delhi in the global endeavour.

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