“India’s N-programme not affected by Oz uranium sale ban”

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Melbourne: Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said that ban on uranium sale to India was not holding back its civil nuclear programme since India was not exclusively dependent on supplies from Australia.

The Australian Labor Party refused to permit sale of uranium to India as the country is not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

“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,” Rudd said.

Kevin Rudd said India and Australia shared a strong relationship despite their differences on uranium, AAP reported.

According to the report, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was set to discuss the issue during a meeting with visiting Indian 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.

The issue is expected to be discussed on the sidelines of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.