Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today said she expected a nuclear safeguards agreement with India to be in place in one or two years before her country could start supplying uranium to India.
He said 5the Labor government's previous stance against the sale was becoming an obstacle in ties, but she assured that an agreement is very much likely over the next one or two years.
Gillard, who is on a three-day visit to India, said negotiating a safeguard agreement is likely to take one or two years, rather than months.
Gillard, however, said Australia gives the highest priority for its ties with India - on a par with its relationship with the United States, China or Indonesia. Ties between the Australia and India have more often been too weak and despite being old friends and sharing a passion for cricket, it has still a long way to go, she said.
"For Australia, our goal is for a partnership with India which reflects your standing along with the US, Japan, China, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea as one of the handful of countries which matter most to Australia," she said in a prepared speech during lunch with business leaders.
"Australia's future in Asia is firmly grounded in relationships of respect with Washington, Tokyo, Beijing, Jakarta, Seoul and Delhi,'' she said.