Hamid Ansari, Gillard meeting called off

Oz PM Julia Gillard had to attend to "domestic exigencies" like the grounding of entire Qantas airline.

Updated: Oct 30, 2011, 15:34 PM IST

Perth: A scheduled meeting between Vice
President Hamid Ansari and Australian Prime Minister Julia
Gillard was called off Sunday, as the latter had to attend to
"domestic exigencies" like the grounding of entire Qantas
airline.

The request for calling off the bilateral meeting was made
by Gillard when she met Ansari in a "pull aside" at the
Retreat session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting that concluded here today.

"The Vice President understood the situation perfectly and
agreed to call off the meeting," Sujatha Singh, Indian High
Commissioner to Australia told reporters here.

She said the Vice President had interacted with Gillard on
several occasions during the past three days, including at the
Retreat session and a dinner hosted by the Australian Prime
Minister for the leaders of the Commonwealth.

"Indo-Australian relations are on a very even keel and
there are not many issues to discuss," Singh said.
Australian national carrier Qantas has grounded its entire
fleet of aircraft two days back following an industrial
dispute.

In another incident that has left the nation shocked,
three Australian soldiers were killed and seven others injured
in Afghanistan yesterday.

PTI