Australia has assured India that there is no change in its decision to supply uranium to India - a decision taken by the previous government. This assurance came on Monday from Australian High Commissioner Patrick Suckling who said India should ensure that uranium would be used for peaceful purposes.
Australia says there is no change in its decision to supply uranium to India – a decision taken by the previous government. (Representational Image)
The next round of talks between the two countries to firm up a safeguard agreement for sale of uranium to India is likely to take place before end of the year, Mr Suckling said.
The two rounds of talks, held in the earlier part of 2013 on the issue, had gone "very well and it was positive and constructive from both sides", he added.
The high commissioner was speaking in New Delhi on the policies of Australia's new conservative Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott.
"The intension of both the sides is to try and finish the safeguard agreement as fast as possible," Mr Suckling said
Mr Suckling pointed out that Mr Abbott shared the sentiment that India and Australia have shared a long and strategic relationship of trust and security.
"We feel we have made good progress. But we have not put a time-frame for the negotiations to conclude because sometimes even the straight-looking issues become complex," Mr Suckling told reporters.
Australia's then ruling Labour Party, led by Julia Gillard, had in December 2011, cleared the way for export of Australian uranium to India. This was done after a strong debate on the floor of the party's national conference.
Australia's known uranium resources are the world's largest - 31 per cent of the globe's total.
Mr Suckling also said that Australia would like to further expand cooperation with India in areas like infrastructure, education, agri-business, bio-tech, pharma and information technology.
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