Australia renews friendship with India

Vol 4, PW 4 (29 Mar 00) News in Brief

Australia and India are set to resume friendly ties following a stormy few months provoked by India's nuclear blasts in the summer of 1998.

On a visit to India last week, Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer agreed to resume Canberra's defence relationship with Delhi, a sign of new Australian confidence. Australia has been the most vocal of Western nations in its criticism of India's decision to become a nuclear power.

During Downer's visit, that episode was carefully sidestepped in talks with Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh. The two sides instead focused on trade links.

Murasoli Maran, Indian minister for trade and industry, is to visit Australia in April.