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Uranium sales to India 'unique case': Australia

Calling India's case "unique", Australia today made it clear that the ruling Labor's decision to lift ban on uranium sales to New Delhi does not open doors to Pakistan, which is demanding similar treatment.

world Updated: Dec 08, 2011 17:38 IST

Calling India's case "unique", Australia today made it clear that the ruling Labor's decision to lift ban on uranium sales to New Delhi does not open doors to Pakistan, which is demanding similar treatment.

"The circumstances for India so far as export of uranium is concerned are in my view unique," Defence Minister Stephen Smith, who is currently visiting New Delhi to discuss security and defence cooperation, told ABC news channel. "Pakistan does not have the same record so far as proliferation is concerned. There have been serious expressions of concern about proliferation in the past," he said.

Secondly, Pakistan has not voluntarily placed itself under the authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency or the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Smith said. Earlier this week, Pakistani High Commissioner to Australia Abdul Malik Abdullah said the same concession should be made for Pakistan, which like India is not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

Smith told the news channel that the uranium export policy change by Labor party was warmly welcomed in his face-to-face meetings in India. "What you could describe as an irritant or a grain of sand in the relationship is now gone. And what we've agreed is that we can do more and we should do more and we will do more in terms of practical cooperation.And that will particularly apply so far as our navies are concerned," he said. Smith and his counterpart A K Antony also discussed the joint Australia-US base in Darwin, ABC said.