Australia refusal to sell uranium is not anti-India

Melbourne: Australia`s refusal to sell uranium to India is "not anti-India" and it should not derail the growing bilateral relationship, Peter Varghese Australian High Commissioner to India has said.

"Our policy on uranium sale is not anti-India policy but pro-NPT policy and we ought not make the whole relationship hostage to just one issue. And I don`t think either government wants to see that," Varghese told PTI here adding, "for the moment our policy stands and we continue to talk to Indian side".

In the past, ties between the two countries have suffered because of two major issues- Australia`s refusal to sell uranium to India and violence against Indian students here.

Varghese, whose appointment came amidst overseas student attack issue in 2009, said Australia was now focusing on building a stronger relationship with India and post Indian student attack crisis it was evident that there was a clear need to build a strong people-to-people relationship.

"I think we need to do a lot of work in regards to people-to-people relationship and student issue," he said.

Australia will be hosting cultural activities across India next year to promote the country to Indian youths.

"We are doing a big cultural promotion of Australia in India that will be held from September 2012 to January 2013. We are going to take Australian innovations and art, culture, design, architecture, to present Australia as a innovative and creative country," Varghese said adding, the initiative would be structured to target Indian youths.