Oz Defence Minister supports uranium sale to India

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 11:04

Melbourne: Strongly favouring Labor Party
decision to export uranium to India despite it being a non
signatory to the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty, Australian
Defence Minister Stephen Smith has said that he did not
support the similar treatment towards Pakistan.

Smith, who is set to leave for India on Tuesday, said he did
not support uranium exports to Pakistan.

Smith said he was a strong supporter of uranium export to
India, calling it an exceptional case.

"India brought itself under the governance of the
international nuclear regulators, the International Atomic
Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group," Smith said.

"That has not occurred with Pakistan. There has never
been a suggestion of (nuclear) proliferation from India," he
said adding, "Regrettably, over preceding years, there have
been serious concerns about proliferation from Pakistan."

He expressed hope that Pakistan would understand the
decision and that it would not affect military ties between
the two nations.

"Pakistan would understand the decision and that it would
not affect military ties between the two nations, especially
in their cooperation in the war in Afghanistan," he said
adding, "I don`t see this decision as having an adverse
outcome, so far as the Australia-Pakistan relationship is
concerned."

"Nor do I see it in any way as being relevant to
suitability in South Asia. We have a very good
military-to-military and defence-to-defence relationship with
Pakistan."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 10:36

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