Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith,who had pitched for reversing ruling Labor partys policy on uranium export to India,has ruled out similar treatment to Pakistan,citing its poor proliferation record.
Strongly backing Labor Partys decision on Sunday to export uranium to India despite it being a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty,Smith said he did not support uranium exports to Pakistan.
Smith,who is set to leave for India on Tuesday,said he was a strong supporter of uranium export to India,calling it an exceptional case.
India brought itself under the governance of the international nuclear regulators,the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Smith said.
That has not occurred with Pakistan. There has never been a suggestion of (nuclear) proliferation from India, he said adding,Regrettably,over preceding years,there have been serious concerns about proliferation from Pakistan.
He expressed hope that Pakistan would understand the decision and that it would not affect military ties between the two nations.
Pakistan would understand the decision and that it would not affect military ties between the two nations,especially in their cooperation in the war in Afghanistan, he said.
I dont see this decision as having an adverse outcome,so far as the Australia-Pakistan relationship is concerned, he added.
Australian Minister to visit India
NEW DELHI: Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith will discuss enhancing of maritime security and increasing cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region during his first visit to India after assuming the post. Smith,who will also visit military facilities in Mumbai,will be in the Capital on Wednesday and will meet his Indian counterpart A K Antony besides several other senior leaders.
The minister,who is one of the key Cabinet members of the Australian government who put his weight behind the sale of uranium to India,has said in a statement that he expects to discuss opportunities to expand defence cooperation activities during the visit.
In New Delhi,I will meet Indias Defence Minister A K Antony to take forward our shared strategic and security interests,including maritime security,cooperation in the Indian Ocean,and regional security, Smith has said. He will also meet the three service chiefs and senior political leaders. Australia is committed to deepening its bilateral relations with India,and strengthening defence and security cooperation, he said.