Safer to sell uranium to India, says Australian minister

Mumbai: Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer has rejected the suggestion that selling uranium to India would constitute a risk to global security, saying that on the contrary, selling uranium to India would, in fact, make the world a safer place.

"I don''t think there is a risk... I think the reverse in fact is the case, that the more you can get the Indian nuclear programme, civil nuclear programme under UN inspections — under the UN protocols of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the better," he told an Australian radio channel.

"I think that creates a safer and more secure environment for those power stations. That it (India) has got nuclear weapons already, that is a done deal. They (India) don''t need Australian uranium for that, they''ve done it already," he said.

Downer''s remarks came ahead of a decision by the Australian cabinet''s national security committee on the issue of selling uranium to India.

The committee is due to consider a proposal by Downer that Australia sell uranium to the India to help fuel its expanding nuclear power industry.

The committee is expected to approve the proposal, making a radical shift in Australia''s foreign policy, which prevents uranium sales to countries that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, The Age reported.