Australian PM to push for uranium sale to India

PTI Bali | Updated on November 19, 2011

The Australian Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard, today made it clear that she would take forward her proposal to lift ban on uranium sale to India as she met Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, here.

Dr Singh and Ms Gillard, who are here to attend the Asean and East Asia Summits, had a ‘pull-aside’ meeting during which the issue figured.

“I am taking the change of policy to my party conference in December,” the Australian Prime Minister told reporters after the meeting.

Giving indications of overturning Australia’s long-held position, Ms Gillard on November 15 had said, “The (ruling) Labour Party’s current platform prevents us from selling uranium to India, because it (New Delhi) is not part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. I believe the time has come for the Labour Party to change this position.”

She gave three reasons for her decision. First, exporting uranium to India would be good for the Australian economy and help create jobs. Uranium currently contributes over A$750 million to the Australian economy.

Second, she said. “Australia faces a unique set of opportunities in this — the Asian century, where we live in the right region of the world which will see strong economic growth and India as a rising giant will be part of that strong economic growth, so put simply, our best possible partnership with India is also good for Australian jobs.”

Published on November 19, 2011

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