Attackers will be met with force: Aus PM

Attackers will be met with force: Aus PM

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Monday assured India that perpetrators of the recent attacks on Indian citizens here will be met "with full force of the law" as he condemned the incidents as "senseless" and "deplorable" acts of violence.

Speaking in the Australian Parliament on the issue of safety of Indian students, Rudd recalled his telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh last week during which they discussed "some recent unfortunate events" that threaten to "impair" good bilateral relations.

"These are senseless acts of violence... I speak on behalf of all Australians when I say that we deplore and condemn these attacks," Rudd said, in an apparent damage control exercise.

"I said to Prime Minister Singh that the more than 90,000 Indian students in Australia are welcome guests in our country," Rudd told the Parliament.

Describing Manmohan Singh as a "friend of Australia, and an inspiring leader of his nation," Rudd said he told the Indian Prime Minister that "more than 200,000 Australians of Indian-descent are welcome-members of the Australian family.

"I said that the Commonwealth government was working closely with state governments to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice... as they deserve to be met with full force of the law," Rudd said.

Rudd said the government will work closely with the states and territories "as a matter of urgency" to work on ways to help international students feel safer.

He said in recent months, there have been a number of attacks on young Indians studying or working in Australia -- "in particular three recent attacks in Melbourne involving six young Indians".

Rudd said "those who carry out these attacks stand condemned".

He said the Australian government was committed to forge "stronger and closer relationship" with India and also committed to the safety of "all those who visit our nation".

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