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India's civil nuke program not dependent on Australian uranium: Rudd

October 27, 2011 - Melbourne

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said that his country's ruling Labor Party's ban on selling uranium to India isn't holding back that country's civil nuclear program.

The ALP refuses to allow uranium sales to India because it is not a party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

The ban is an ongoing source of tension between both countries and is set to be a topic of discussion on the sidelines of this week's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.

Asked about the issue today, the Herald Sun quoted Rudd, as saying that the two countries had a strong relationship despite their differences on uranium.

"Each of you go back home and work out where India currently sources its uranium from around the world. There is no problem in global supply. Let's just be very, very blunt about this," Rudd said.

He added: "If you hear an argument from an Indian business person that the future of the civil nuclear industry in India depends exclusively on access to Australian uranium - that is simply not sustainable as a proposition."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott called on the government to lift its ban.

"If India is able to expand its nuclear program, obviously that does make a significant contribution to reducing Indian emissions," he told reporters.

He added: "And I think that's something that the Government really should rethink and rethink now.


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