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Oz minister supports uranium sales to India

Strongly favouring Labor Party decision to export uranium to India despite it being a non signatory to the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty, Australian defence minister Stephen Smith has said that he did not support the similar treatment towards Pakistan.

world Updated: Dec 06, 2011 11:31 IST

Strongly favouring Labor Party decision to export uranium to India despite it being a non signatory to the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty, Australian defence minister Stephen Smith has said that he did not support the similar treatment towards Pakistan. Smith, who is set to leave for India on Tuesday, said he did not support uranium exports to Pakistan.

Smith said he was a strong supporter of uranium export to India, calling it an exceptional case.

"India brought itself under the governance of the international nuclear regulators, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group," Smith said.

"That has not occurred with Pakistan. There has never been a suggestion of (nuclear) proliferation from India," he said adding, "Regrettably, over preceding years, there have been serious concerns about proliferation from Pakistan."

He expressed hope that Pakistan would understand the decision and that it would not affect military ties between the two nations.

"Pakistan would understand the decision and that it would not affect military ties between the two nations, especially in their cooperation in the war in Afghanistan," he said adding, "I don't see this decision as having an adverse outcome, so far as the Australia-Pakistan relationship is concerned."

"Nor do I see it in any way as being relevant to suitability in South Asia. We have a very good military-to-military and defence-to-defence relationship with Pakistan."