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Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
19 June 2001
Visit by India's Minister for External Affairs and Defence
I am pleased to welcome the visit to Australia by India's Minister for External Affairs and Defence, Jaswant Singh from 19-24 June 2001. Mr Singh's visit is the first purely bilateral visit to Australia by an Indian Minister for External Affairs and reflects the growing importance of our relationship.
During his visit, Mr Singh will attend the inaugural Australia-India Foreign Ministerial Framework Dialogue, which I will host in Adelaide. The dialogue presents a timely opportunity to discuss a broad range of bilateral and regional issues which affect both Australia and India. Topics will include Asia-Pacific regional developments and mechanisms to explore new avenues for cooperation. This inaugural meeting is a significant addition to Ministerial and officials' level contacts, which have developed between Australia and India over the past two years.
While in Australia Mr Singh will also undertake a range of Ministerial and other calls relating to his External Affairs and Defence portfolio responsibilities in Sydney and Canberra.
Mr Singh's visit continues the positive momentum in Australia-India relations following my visit to India in March 2000.