India rejects trilateral pact with US, Australia
The Australian Foreign Minister had said that the response from India to form trilateral pact was quite positive.
New Delhi: India on Thursday voiced surprise at Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd's remarks suggesting trilateral security agreement between US, India and Australia, and made it clear it was not keen on it.
"We are not aware of any such proposal," Vishnu Prakash, the external affairs ministry's spokesperson, said in response to a question.
The defence ministry officials took a tougher stand, saying they were taken aback at the statement of the Australian foreign minister.
The defence ministry also stated that it is not "keen on hopping to any multilateral security constructs in the region excepting those under the UN flag or such broad-based arrangements as ASEAN Defence Ministers Meet (ADMM +) and ASEAN Regional Forum".
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review newspaper, Rudd backed the formation of a security pact with India and the US, saying it could come into being if Canberra ends a ban on uranium sales.
A new trilateral accord was worth exploring because "from little things big things grow," Rudd said.
"The response from the Indian government has really been quite positive," Rudd had said.
But India's clarification on Thursday makes it clear that it is not keen on such a proposal.