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Aus says will cooperate with Garg's family

Australia on Tuesday said it will cooperate with the family of Nitin Garg, the Indian youth killed in Melbourne, and expedite the process of returning his body back home, terming the delay in the process as "unfortunate".

world Updated: Jan 05, 2010 12:50 IST

Australia on Tuesday said it will cooperate with the family of Nitin Garg, the Indian youth killed in Melbourne, and expedite the process of returning his body back home, terming the delay in the process as "unfortunate".

Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean said: "We are going to try and cooperate with the family as expeditiously if we can to return the remains, the body, to his home".

While Australian officials have insisted that no race angle was involved in the incident, Crean said: "I think we have to await the full details of the police investigation".

Asked why it took two days, following Garg's murder, for government officials to contact Garg's family in India Crean said: "I think it's unfortunate if it did take that length of time".

He said the government had been in regular contact with Indian officials over the past 12 months on the issue of safety of Indian students in Australia.

Since Garg's death, Australian High Commissioner in Delhi had also been in touch with the family, he said.

"I understand there've been meetings the high commissioner has sought here with the Department of Foreign Affairs officials. We will do whatever we can to try and address this problem," Crean said.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna "reminded" Australia on Monday of the economic fallout of such attacks, even as he said that issuing an advisory to Indians in the aftermath of the youth's murder would be the "last resort".