India, Australia sign civil nuclear deal

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New Delhi, Sept 5: India and Australia on Friday signed a civil nuclear deal under which the latter will supply uranium to the former. While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the nuclear agreement as a historical milestone, his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott said India is a trusted ally to which uranium can be exported, TV reports said.

Modi, who described Australia an important strategic partner of India, said he would visit Down Under soon after attending the G20 summit.

Speaking on his meeting with the Australian prime minister who is currently in India on a two-day visit, Modi said the two countries have decided to increase dialogue and security and defence cooperation between them.

Modi also thanked Abbott for his country's continuing support to India's quest for the permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council. The prime minister even wished Australia for the cricket World Cup due to be held there next year. Australia is co-hosting the tournament with New Zealand.

Earlier, Abbott returned two antique Shiva statues to India in the presenc of Modi and said the statues were returned to the "rightful country of their ownership".

Australia is home to a third of the world's recoverable uranium resources and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes every year. India and Australia began talks on uranium sales two years ago after Canberra withdrew a long-time ban on exporting uranium to New Delhi to cater to its nuclear energy programme.

The latest agreement recognises India's commitment to use the nuclear energy for acheiving sustainable development and improving energy security.

Oneindia News

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