Krishna to convince Australia for lifting ban on uranium exports to India: Sources

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New Delhi, Aug 4 (ANI): Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today left on a five-day visit to Australia. While the issue of racial attacks on Indian students which grabbed international attention will figure high on agenda during his meetings with Australian leadership, highly placed sources have told ANI that External Affairs Minister will also try and convince Canberra to lift the ban on uranium exports to India.

Australia along with other Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries had supported India to get a clean waiver from the 45 nation NSG which resulted in the end of India's nuclear apartheid but have so far remained non committed on supplying uranium to India.

One of the world's largest producers of uranium Australia has strong domestic policy, which bars the government to supply uranium to the states, which are non-signatory to the NPT. While the previous Government indicated some flexibility on the issue but the new labor party government led by Kevin Rudd is more stubborn on the issue. It will be an uphill task for New Delhi to convince Canberra.

However, source points out that India' impeccable record of non proliferation will make India's case and gradually there will be a move in this context.

Analyst also believes that if Australia has supported India at the NSG it implies that in principal it supports India's nuclear ambitions and logically support will come.

Sources told ANI that India would not push Australia on the issue because it understands the domestic compulsions of the labor party which rode to power on the promise to promote disarmament.

While in Australia, External Affairs Minister will be meeting his counterpart Stephen Smith on August 7 in Cairns. He will also meet Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. He will also participate in the Annual Post Forum Dialogue Meeting of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF), in Cairns.

Although New Delhi is not expecting a major paradigm shift from the Krishna's visit but it expects that it will at least create a climate for change in the traditional uranium export policy and will lay the ground for future talks on this tricky issue. (ANI)

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