Australian PM reboots nuclear, business ties with India
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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday said her country will reboot economic and strategic ties with India, which were strained earlier by Canberra's refusal to sell uranium.
Gillard signed four agreements at the end of an hour-long discussion with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"The discussions covered issues relating to trade and investment, energy, supply of resources for India's economic development, education and people to people contacts," said an MEA official.
Officials discussed Australia's decision to overturn the long-standing ban on exporting uranium to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). India is among those countries.
Australia has 40% of the world's known uranium reserves but sells uranium only for power generation under strict conditions.
Energy-starved India has been desperately seeking uranium sources to run its nuclear power plants, and Australia's past refusal to sell the mineral has been a sore point in relations between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, India thanked the Australian leader for taking a "political risk" by deciding to positively reverse a long-term policy of not supplying uranium to it.
This was conveyed by external affairs minister S M Krishna, "who thanked her for reversing the uranium supply policy to India, a non-NPT member, and a risk she has taken politically while doing so." Gillard said Australia has opened the door for uranium sales to India. "India's energy needs are going to increase sharply...there is a good potential for partnership in energy sector."
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