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Australia won't sell uranium to India

October 11, 2006 17:34 IST

Australia is not plannning to sell uranium to India, its Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Wednesday.

His remark comes apparently in the wake of Monday's nuclear test by North Korea which Australia feels could trigger an arms race in the region. Canberra's stand has been a nuclear weapon-free world.

"We're not planning to sell uranium to India (for its civilian nuclear power programme)", Downer said in a speech to an energy security conference.

Earlier, the foreign minister said "We've made no decision to sell uranium to India and it's not really an issue we've given any consideration to in the last few weeks or months".

He said "we have no plans to reconsider the issue at all," according to a media report.

India, which is not a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, has appealed to Australia to supply uranium for its civilian nuclear power plants. It has requested Canberra to reconsider its policy that currently allows the sale of uranium only to NPT signatories.

Liberal lawmaker Russell Trood has said he believed the North Korean nuclear test signified the time for a change in uranium policy had come.

In the face of pressure from New Delhi and Washington, the government had been expected to reverse its policy and supply uranium to India.

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