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Australia names top spy as next envoy to India

By Neena Bhandari, IANS,

Sydney : Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith Monday named Peter Varghese as the next envoy to India. Varghese is considered the country’s top spy as the head of the Office of National Assessments (ONA).

Smith said Varghese will be a very good high commissioner for what is “a very important relationship”.

“The government wants to take relationship with India to the front rank of our bilateral relationships, and we look forward to High Commissioner Varghese pursuing good work in India on Australia’s behalf,” Smith said.

The Australia-India bilateral relationship has been growing in recent years with the two countries closely engaging in strategic and defence matters.

India is also Australia’s fastest growing export market with energy and minerals being the main drivers, and the second largest market for education services.

The Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, the country’s largest bilateral scientific research fund, has fostered increasingly close collaboration between scientists of the two countries.