Australia warned against uranium sale to India
The Australian government has been warned by the Opposition not to weaken its safeguards on the spread of nuclear materials.india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 18:41 IST
The Australian government has been warned by the Opposition not to weaken its safeguards on the spread of nuclear materials in a rush to supply uranium to India and China.
"We would be very concerned if John Howard was about to step outside that whole regime (nuclear non-proliferation treaty)," Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd was quoted as saying.
A media report on Sunday claimed that Australia was likely to sign an agreement clearing the way for massive uranium sales to China during the visit of Premier Wen Jiabao early next month.
Rudd said Australia must not suddenly start weakening its commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
During last week's trilateral talks involving Australia, the US and Japan, Prime Minister John Howard announced that Australian officials would soon visit India and the US to examine the agreement under which the US would begin sharing nuclear technology with India.
On uranium sales to India, Howard had said that "You never say never."
Australia has so far refused to sell uranium to India because it has not signed the non-proliferation treaty.
Rudd said Australia, having large uranium reserves, must act responsibly to uphold the global non-proliferation regime.
However, he said if full safeguards were in place, his party will not have any in-principle objection on sell of uranium.