'Oz ban on uranium sale not holding up India's N-programme'

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Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd
Melbourne, Oct 27: Australia's ban on uranium sale to India was not holding back its civil nuclear programme as the country was not exclusively dependent on supplies from here, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said today (Oct 27).

The ruling Australian Labor Party (ALP) refuses to permit sale of uranium to India on the ground that the country is not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty. The issue is expected to be a topic of discussion on the sidelines of this week's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.

Rudd said India and Australia shared a strong relationship despite their differences on uranium, AAP reported. "Each of you go back home and work out where India currently sources its uranium from around the world,"he told reporters when asked about the issue.

"There is no problem in global supply. Let's just be very, very blunt about this. If you hear an argument from an Indian business person that the future of the civil nuclear industry in India depends exclusively on access to Australian uranium - that is simply not sustainable as a proposition."

The report said that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was all set to discuss the issue during a meeting with visiting Vice President Hamid Ansari.

"If India is able to expand its nuclear programme, obviously that does make a significant contribution to reducing Indian emissions,"Abbott, who has favoured the uranium sale to India, said.

PTI

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