Deeply concerned over attacks on Indian students in Australia, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Tuesday asked Canberra to address their legitimate concerns in a "sensitive manner".
Krishna noted that the relationship between both the countries was growing strongly but New Delhi has "deep
concerns" about the safety and security of Indian students in Australia.
"...the relationship is growing strongly all around and areas where there are concerns, such as students' issue, need to be dealt with, in a sensitive manner, while we make efforts to strengthen ties in a comprehensive manner," he said in a statement after his five-day visit to Australia.
The minister noted that the Indian community, through its culture and values, is contributing in making Australia the vibrant multi-cultural society.
During his meetings with Australian leadership, Krishna said he impressed upon Canberra that "measures need to be put in place to address their legitimate grievances so that our students get a good quality educational experience."
He also said both the countries hope to take their relationship to the level of a strategic partnership and that
they were looking at the possibility of discussing a Free Trade Agreement to "further boost our ties".
Krishna said New Delhi is expecting Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to visit India later this year.
He said New Delhi was committed to further strengthening and expanding bilateral relations to cover "virtually every area of interaction".
India and Australia feel that there is "significant" scope for expanding bilateral trade as well as cooperation in
Science and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, Energy, Education, Tourism and Agro-industry.