Australia may not block sale of uranium to India by others

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Sydney, Jan 17 (UNI) Days after announcing that Canberra would not sell uranium to India unless New Delhi signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a top Australian official has said his country would not block the sale of nuclear fuel to India by members of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

A spokesman for Foreign Minister Stephen Smith was quoted yesterday as saying by ''The Age'' that the government has not yet made a decision on whether to block uranium sales to India by other countries-- an option open to Australia and members of the NSG, which sets global export controls for nuclear materials.

Even though the Howard government had announced last year to proceed with a uranium export agreement in the wake of India's impeccable record on non-proliferation, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had made it clear that unless New Delhi signed the NPT yellowcake sales could not be resumed.

The spokesman said Australia appreciated the significance of the Indo-US nuclear deal and would take that into account in the Government's response.

UNI XC SB VC1405

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