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ASEAN terms N-deal positive

July 23, 2008 20:35 IST
Last Updated: July 23, 2008 20:37 IST

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Australia on Wednesay hinted at supporting India's case at the Nuclear Suppliers Group when New Delhi comes up before the 45-member group for its approval to facilitate the country's nuclear commerce in connection with the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The matter was discussed during a meeting between Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma and Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on the sidelines of the Association of South-East Asian Nations ministerial meet in Singapore, official sources said.

"Australia gave positive understanding of the issue and noted that India has an impeccable track record on non-proliferation," sources told PTI.

Sharma also met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and the Indo-US nuclear deal did figure in their talks.

Meanwhile, the 10-member ASEAN described the Indo-US nuclear deal as an extremely positive step, hoping that the two countries would be able to conclude the pact soon.

During the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting attended by Sharma, the regional grouping said they welcomed the Indo-US agreement which would ensure energy security for India.

In his opening remarks at the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that the relations among China, India and Japan [Images] were stable which is good for the growth and development of the region.

Sharma, heading the Indian delegation to the ASEAN Summit, also met Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim respectively. Sharma held talks with the Canadian foreign minister on Tuesday.

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