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#722 - January 21, 2011

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Full issue

Australia: No uranium for India

On 19 January Australia rebuffed a new request to allow the export of uranium to India due to the South Asian state's continued refusal to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. "The policy of the Australian government is clear -- we will only supply uranium to countries that are signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and have signed a bilateral agreement with Australia," Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said following a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. "This is not a policy specific to India, it applies equally to all countries."

In 2007, then-Australian Prime Minister John Howard leaned toward making a uranium-export exception for India if the nuclear armed nation agreed to join U.N. and Australian nuclear safeguards deals. When Howard's Conservative Party was unseated by the Labor Party in elections that year, the new leaders quickly reversed course on the understanding with India. The new Labor government has contended that permitting uranium sales to India would undermine the NPT accord.

Source: Reuters, 19 January 2011