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Australia: Howard, rule out uranium sales to India

Greens call on PM Howard to rule out uranium sales to India

The Australian Greens today expressed concern that Prime Minister John Howard is open to a change of policy on uranium sales to India.

"It is clear that the Indian government is putting pressure on Australia to undermine the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and sell it uranium," Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said.

"Prime Minister Howard must rule out such a deal and not use the guise of improved Australia-India relations as the excuse to change policy.

"Just because the United States is prepared to turn its back on international law, that is no reason for Australia to follow suit.

"The Australian government has complicated its position because of its decision to sell uranium to China, which India has referred to, demonstrating the repercussions for regional stability of making more uranium available.

"Furthermore, Australia should use its position on the Nuclear Suppliers Group to veto the US deal to sell nuclear technology to India.

"The Nuclear Suppliers Group makes decisions by consensus, so that any member has a veto.

"The nuclear NPT is not a mere piece of paper. It is international law that has at its heart the aim of ending the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It must be maintained."

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