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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Australia refuses call for revoking ban on Uranium sale to India

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 20, IRNA -- Australia Thursday refused to concede to India's repeated requests for revoking a ban on Uranium sale to it, saying Canberra remains steadfast on its policy of not selling yellowcake to NPT non-signatories.

India’s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna raised the issue of Uranium sale with Australia for a second day during his meeting with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd but the latter said his country's stand remains unchanged.

He had yesterday taken up the issue with Australia's Resource, Energy and Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson.

Rudd acknowledged India's clean record on nuclear proliferation, but maintained it was Australia's national policy to not sell Uranium to NPT non-signatories.

Rudd said 'Australia fundamentally respects India's long standing credentials on the non-proliferation question'.

Addressing a joint press conference in Melbourne along with the visiting Krishna, Rudd acknowledged that India has not been responsible for a single act of nuclear weapons proliferation anywhere in the world, pti reported.

'Something which we place on record again as being our views of India's public policy posture and operational behaviour for a very long period of time,' he said.

Australia is unwilling to sell uranium to India because it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Rudd said the issue, however, has not damaged ties between the countries.

Commenting on the issue, Krishna said he has pleaded with the Australian government to change the policy, stressing that nuclear energy as a clean energy source was crucial to the rising energy demands of India.

'If you have to have clean energy, then according to India the only option is to have nuclear energy, and if you have to have nuclear energy, then you certainly need uranium,' he said.



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