Oz minister rules out uranium export to Pak

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 14:42

Melbourne: Australian Defence Minister
Stephen Smith, who had pitched for reversing ruling Labor
party`s policy on uranium export to India, has ruled out
similar treatment to Pakistan, citing its poor proliferation

Strongly backing Labor Party`s decision on Sunday to
export uranium to India despite it being a non signatory to
the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty, Smith said he did not
support uranium exports to Pakistan.

Smith, who is set to leave for India on Tuesday, 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

On his fourth visit to India, Smith said the aim of the
trip is to strengthen military ties and discuss defence and
security cooperation.

"This will be my fourth visit to India as a minister
in the Australian Government but my first visit as Minister
for Defence," he said.


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First Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 13:11

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