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Tough talk on terrorism, cricket diplomacy mark Howard's visit
March 08, 2006 21:23 IST
Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Wednesday talked tough on terrorism while condemning Tuesday's bomb blasts at Varanasi, and advocated cricket diplomacy to foster good India-Pak and India-Australia relations.
Howard, who arrived in Chennai on Tuesday night, minced no words in condemning the blasts at the Sankatmochan Temple in Varanasi and appealed to all nations to join the global fight against terrorism.
Just before commencing his formal address at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, the first of his functions, Howard expressed grief over the bomb blasts and offered Australia's condolences to the families of the victims.
"I myself and on behalf of the Australian government, express deep condolences to the families of the dead,'' he said and appealed to all countries to join the fight the against global terrorism."
Addressing a gathering, before signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and a tripartite agreement between Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Queensland University of Technology in his presence, Mr Howard also ruled out any change in Australia's 30-year-old Nuclear policy (with regard to export of Uranium to India).
"We have a 30-year-old policy. We don't provide uranium to any country, which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.Now only India and the US have signed the joint Nuclear agreement and we will wait and see further developments,'' he said, adding his country would "wait and watch" before deciding on removing the ban on export of uranium to India.