Australia today acknowledged that some of the attacks on Indians were racist in nature, causing considerable damage to its reputation among Indian people and said its premier criminal research agency has been roped in to study the issue and suggest remedial measures.
"I acknowledge absolutely that this issue has caused considerable damage to Australia's reputation among Indian people. We have to work very hard to address that. We have to be open, transparent and upfront about that," visiting Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told reporters in New Delhi.
He said some of the attacks are racist in nature or having racial overtones.
"We know that a number of these assaults are racists and have racial overtones. These are absolutely contemptible. We are doing a range of things in future to better portray modern Australia. We want to underline the strength of relationship between India and Australia," Smith said.
However, both the countries have agreed that the issue should not be allowed to affect the bilateral ties which have grown immensely in the last two years, he said.
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has been entrusted with the task of studying the issue in depth and ensure whether the government's response to the attacks has been apt, Smith said.