Chennai, April 15:
There is no rethinking by Australia on supplying uranium to India, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said here on Wednesday.
Bishop said Australia is not stipulating that India sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to be a part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
She also made it clear that Australia will not allow people smuggled into the country to settle down.
“There is no rethinking by Australia on supplying uranium to India,” Bishop told reporters.
She said some agreements have to be signed and the civil nuclear agreement signed between Australia and India have to be ratified by her country’s parliament.
Bishop said the process is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
According to her, the first consignment of uranium to India would then depend on the agreements signed between the Australian supplier and the Indian buyer.
Bishop also said the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CEPA) between Australia and India is likely to be inked by the end of this year.
She said Australia has signed free trade agreements with China and other countries. In some cases the deal was negotiated for six years.
Bishop said Australia’s bilateral trade is around $160 billion which points to the potential opportunity for India.
She said being friends with India does not mean Australia is slowly disengaging its ties with China.
Referring to her meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, she said discussions were held about enhancing business ties between Australia and Tamil Nadu.
Bishop said more ministers from her country would visit India and added that India and Australia will soon hold joint naval exercise this year.
Queried about the Adani group’s coal mining project in Australia, she said approvals are under way.
She said Australia invites Indian investments in the energy sector. (IANS)