Australian Horn To Nuke Up India
NEW DELHI APRIL 11, 2017 00:00 IST
Turnbull says working closely with India to meet its fuel requirements for civil nuclear programme
Australia will start supplying uranium to India “as soon as possible”, the visiting Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said here on Monday.
Australia’s promise on uranium was announced even as both countries signed six agreements, including one on countering terrorism.
“Our know-how and resources are already partnering with India’s 24×7 Power For All, Smart Cities and Make in India programmes, but there is room for further growth. We’ve worked closely with India to meet our respective requirements for the provision of fuel for India’s civil nuclear programme, and we look forward to the first export of Australian uranium to India as soon as possible,” Mr. Turnbull said in a press statement at Hyderabad House following bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr. Modi welcomed the passage of the Civil Nuclear Transfers to India Act in the Australian Parliament, opening up opportunities for Australia to support Indian energy generation. Australia has about 40 per cent of the world’s uranium reserves and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes of yellow cake annually. Both sides agreed to extend bilateral engagement to the Asia- Pacific region. In this context, a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting agreed to hold a bilateral maritime exercise named AUSINDEX in the Bay of Bengal in 2018 and also pledged to hold a joint exercise of the Special Forces later this year. Both sides welcomed the decision for the first bilateral Army-to-Army exercise later this year.
The bilateral discussion also hinted at a growing agreement to oppose China’s territorial claims over the South China Sea region.
As part of the emerging Asia-Pacific focus of India-Australia ties, the joint statement took a firm position against China’s growing presence in the South China Sea region and said, “Both leaders recognised that India and Australia share common interests in ensuring maritime security and the safety of sea lines of communication. Both leaders recognised the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce, as well as resolving maritime disputes by peaceful means.