Australian PM Moves to Allow Uranium Sales to India

Posted November 15th, 2011 at 3:05 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she wants her government to lift a ban on exporting uranium to India.

Ms. Gillard told reporters in Canberra Tuesday exporting uranium to India makes economic sense and will strengthen relations between the two countries.

Australia holds 40 percent of the world's known uranium reserves. It exports the nuclear material to several countries including the United States, China and Japan. But India has been excluded because New Delhi has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Ms. Gillard said it is time for the government to change its position.

Defense Minister Stephen Smith stressed that any sales to India must include guarantees that the uranium will only be used for power facilities and not for military purposes.

The subject is expected to be a key topic at the ruling Labor Party's annual conference in Sydney in December. Any policy changes must be ratified at the conference.