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Bush briefs Howard on Indo-US nuke deal
March 21, 2006 15:32 IST
US President George W Bush has personally briefed Australian Prime Minister John Howard on the Indo-US nuclear deal with both leaders agreeing that it was a very significant step forward.
"We talked about the nature of the agreements and the reason why he entered into it and the advantages of India's civil nuclear capacity being placed under international inspection," Howard told reporters.
Bush spoke to Howard about the deal after calling him to offer US help in the aftermath of Cyclone Larry, which has caused extensive damage in parts of north Queensland.
"We both agreed that was a very significant step forward and we both, of course, agreed that India is going to bulk much larger in the affairs of the region because of the enormous economic growth that country is enjoying," Howard was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.
The report said Bush's personal intervention will increase speculation about the likelihood of a change on policy on Australia's uranium sales.
The Australian government has sent mixed signals on how it will deal with India's desire for Australian uranium.
Australia will soon send officials to New Delhi and to Washington to find out more about the agreement.