Uranium sale issue resolution key to sealing strategic Indo-Oz partnership: Krishna

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Melbourne, Jan 20(ANI): India hopes to persuade Australia to lift a ban on uranium sales, saying that it would further strengthen and expand the strategic partnership between the two countries.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who met Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd here today, said that despite India's test of an atomic weapon, the country could be trusted as a responsible nuclear power.

"Our relations have been expanding rapidly in recent years in virtually all areas. Both countries are focused on expanding cooperation in areas such as trade and economic cooperation, energy and resources, education, science and technology," Krishna said.

"While the relationship is progressing well, I think it is important to realize that the strategic partnership will not reach its full potential without some progress being made in the area of nuclear energy. I would be interested in hearing from you, at some point today, on how you see the issue evolving in Australia over the next few months," he added.

Krishna further said that a switch to nuclear power is needed to lower carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

"Climate change demands we aim at clean energy," the Age quoted the External Affairs Minister, as saying.

"It has been accepted by experts that nuclear power is the cleanest power, and India is committed to pursue its nuclear power expansion," he added.

He also emphasised that it was good to see that interactions between the two countries in multilateral fora were growing stronger.

"Both India and Australia are important members of the G-20 and the East Asia Summit, where we have had substantive interactions. The entry of the US and Russia into EAS is a welcome development. We look forward to working closely with you and other like-minded countries towards an open, inclusive and mutually beneficial framework of interactions in the Asia Pacific region," Krishna said.

"We also deeply appreciate Australia's support to India's candidature as a Permanent Member of the Security Council and the support that it extended to India's membership of the FATF last year," he added. (ANI)

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