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Australia still open for negotiations on uranium

Australia, which has 40% uranium reserves, has nuclear policy of not selling mineral to non-signatories to NPT.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 11:04 IST

Standing by Australia's policy of not selling nuclear fuel to countries which have not signed the NPT, Prime Minister John Howard on Friday ruled out any immediate plans of supplying uranium to India, but left the door open for future negotiations.

"There isn't going to be any immediate change in government policy. Obviously like all policies, you never say never," Howard said during a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Sydney.

Australia, which has more than 40 per cent of the world's known reserves of uranium, has a nuclear policy of not selling the mineral to non-signatories to the NPT.

However, Howard said a team of government officials would visit New Delhi soon to study the details of the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal.

"We will be sending a team of officials to India to get some more information about the agreement and the team would then go to the United States," Howard said.

The decision to set up a group of officials from both India and Australia to study Indo-US nuclear deal was taken during Howard's visit to New Delhi on March 5.

First Published: Mar 17, 2006 11:04 IST