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'Aus govt to look into selling uranium to India'

india Updated: Feb 01, 2009 19:07 IST
PTI
Aus govt to look into selling uranium to India: Oz High Comm

Selling uranium to India will be an issue that Australian government will look into in the future, Australian High Commissioner to India John McCarthy said in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

"Under present Australian government led by the Labour Party there is a policy prohibiting export of uranium to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and India happens to be one of them," McCarthy told reporters on the sidelines of Vikram Sarabhai Memorial lecture here.

"Although there may be number of people who think that policy is wrong, but it is deeply infringed in the Labour Party. Fear of nuclear issues is very deep seeded in Australia," the High Commissioner said.

"That does not necessarily mean that we shouldn't be selling uranium to India. Change in the policy will be one of the issues that we will look to in the future. But for now we are not there yet," McCarthy said, adding that for the policy to be overturned, it would not only be the decision of the government it has to be finally decided by the Labour Party.

He said the approach to the need for membership of the NPT for (selling uranium) is quite different to what it was before, which even in Australia some members of the leadership acknowledge.

"One of the factors that made difference to people's thinking over a period is the importance of nuclear fuel in the climate change debate. The other is the change in approach taken by the United States of America last year with the agreement on the Indo-US nuclear deal," McCarthy said.