Obama backs Oz`s U-turn on uranium sale to India

`India is a big player and the Australia-India relationship is one that should be cultivated,` Obama said in his apparent support to Gillard`s u-turn.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2011, 02:54 AM IST

Melbourne: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday
virtually backed Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard`s
plans to sell uranium to India saying it "seemed to be
compatible with international law and the NPT".

"India is a big player and the Australia-India
relationship is one that should be cultivated," Obama said in
his apparent support to Gillard`s u-turn yesterday in which
she expressed the country`s interest to sell uranium to India.

In a lighter vein, US President, who arrived in the
country today, said, "I will watch with interest whats
determined" as he refuted today`s report that his
administration had influenced Gillard`s decision.

`The Australian` daily had reported that Gillard had moved
to lift the ban this week in a bid to strengthen the relation
with the fast growing economic powerhouse and "there was some
speculation that it was at the urging of the US."

The newspaper said the Obama administration saw
Australia`s refusal to sell India uranium as "a roadblock to
greater engagement between Washington and New Delhi."

However Obama responding to a question said, "I don`t
think Julia or anybody else needs my advice in figuring that
out".

PTI