India hails Oz move to sell Uranium

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna Tuesday welcomed Australia`s decision to sell uranium to India to meet its growing energy needs.

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2011, 17:26 PM IST

Bangalore: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna Tuesday welcomed Australia`s decision to sell uranium to India to meet its growing energy needs.

"We understand that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard proposes to seek a change in the ruling Labour Party`s policy on sale of uranium to India in recognition of our energy needs, the impeccable record of our non-proliferation treaty (NPT) accord and strategic partnership on this," Krishna told reporters here on Tuesday.

Welcoming this very important initiative, Krishna said India attached great importance to its relations with Australia, which are growing across the board.

"Energy is one of the key areas of our bilateral cooperation," Krishna said on the margins of the 11th Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association of Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), which got underway here.

"It is time for (ruling) Labour to modernise our platform and enable us to strengthen our connection with dynamic, democratic India," Gillard said in an article published in The Age newspaper on Tuesday.

Gillard, who met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the G20 summit at Cannes, and a number of her senior party colleagues, has been urging the lifting of the ban on uranium exports to India as the South Asian country has shown remarkable nuclear compliance.

"We will not sell India uranium for peaceful purposes - though Canada is preparing to - while policy allows us to export it to countries such as China, Japan and the United States," Gillard wrote in her The Age article on Tuesday.

She, however, added that "we must, of course, expect of India the same standards we do of all countries for uranium export".

IANS