Aus working to ensure uranium supply to India: Carr
"As you are aware, Labor party had earlier decided to reverse its policy and supply uranium to India. Mr Carr informed the External Affairs Minister that they are in the process of working out internal arrangements which will enable them to give effect to this policy of the Labor Party and as a government they will finalise this (arrangement) and come to India shortly with the draft," MEA Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
He said Krishna appreciated the commitment and told his Australian counterpart that he was looking forward to Canberra taking next steps in this regard. "The External Affairs Minister noted this commitment and said that he looks forward to the government of Australia providing the next steps in this efforts," the MEA spokesperson said. In December last year, Australia`s ruling Labor led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard cleared the way for the Australian uranium to be exported to India after a strong debate on the floor of the party`s 46th national conference.
Despite resistance from opponents, the landmark policy change was carried out, paving the way for the first Australian country-to-country agreement to sell yellowcake to a nation outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Australia has the world`s largest reserves of uranium and its ores are considered to be of superior quality among those found elsewhere across the globe.
Currently, Australia exports uranium to China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States. However, it had earlier declined sale to India citing a policy that barred nuclear trade with countries that were not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Krishna and Carr also touched upon various bilateral issues, including possible visit of Gillard to New Delhi later this year. There is possibility of Carr visiting India in next few months. Both Ministers also discussed ways and means to revive the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC).
IOR-ARC, initially known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative, is an international/diplomatic Organisation with 18 member states. It was first announced in Mauritius in March 1995 and formally launched on March 6-7, 1997. India is now holding chair of the organisation and Australia will be its next chair. Krishna is also scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh tomorrow.