Australia rejects uranium sales to India

16 January 2008

[Reuters, Bloomberg, 15 January] Australia's new Labor government announced that it will not sell uranium to India unless the country signs the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), seemingly reversing a decision in principle by the previous government. Labor won office in November 2007. Foreign minister Stephen Smith informed Shyam Saran, a special envoy of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, of the decision at a meeting in Perth on 15 January. Following the meeting Smith said, "It's a longstanding commitment of the Australian Labor Party that we don't authorize the export of uranium to countries who are not parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It didn't come as any surprise to Mr Saran that that was our ongoing policy position." Australia's previous government, led by John Howard, agreed in August 2007 to export uranium to India provided strict conditions were met. These included: a safeguards agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); India signing an Additional Protocol equivalent; a consensus by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the conclusion of the US-India nuclear trade deal; and, satisfactory progress by India in placing its declared civil nuclear sites under IAEA safeguards.

Further information

WNA's Australia's Uranium and Who Buys It information paper

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