Australia looked set to overturn a ban on selling uranium to India after Prime Minister Julia Gillard changed her position Tuesday to support lifting an embargo.
Since taking office in 2007, the Labor government has said it would only export uranium to India if Delhi signed the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. India refuses to do so because that would entail getting rid of its nuclear arsenal, according to a report of the German Press Agency "DPA".
Gillard is now pushing for Labor to endorse the proposed policy of former prime minister John Howard and allow exports without the need for India to sign the treaty.
"We must, of course, expect of India the same standards we do of all countries for uranium export - strict adherence to International Atomic Energy Agency arrangements and strong bilateral and transparency measures which will provide assurances our uranium will be used only for peaceful purposes," Gillard wrote in a column for The Sydney Morning Herald.
India's Foreign Minister SM Krishna welcomed the proposed review of the export policy, saying energy was a key area of growing bilateral cooperation.
He said the move was based on "our growing energy needs, our impeccable non-proliferation record and the strategic partnership between our two countries."