US, Australia seek closer India ties to fight terror

February 23rd, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by admin  

By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, Feb 23 (IANS) Australia and the US Saturday expressed their desire to work effectively with India to counter terrorism, drug trafficking and nuclear proliferation and noted the significance of the India-US civil nuclear cooperation initiative. At the high-level annual Australia-US Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations, both countries recognised that India’s stature as a democratic and prosperous country provides a unique opportunity to advance shared political, economic, and security interests in the region.

The consultations between Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith, Australian Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates and US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte reflected the global dimension of Australia-US cooperation.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to working together to confront contemporary security challenges, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and global terrorism.

A joint communiqu

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