Australia urged to be flexible in approach to uranium supplies to India

India today urged Australia to be flexible on its position of not exporting uranium to New Delhi, saying the global community was slowly coming around to "supporting India" on the supply of nuclear fuel.

During his meeting with Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today, asked that the Australian government to show "flexibility" on its policy.

Though it exports uranium to China despite its human rights record, Australia does not allow exports to India, as it is not a signatory to the NPT.

"The whole world is supporting India. Those countries who are lagging behind, they should think (again)," Shinde told reporters after his meeting with Smith.

Shinde is leading an Indian contingent to the two-day Australia-India Energy and Minerals Forum.

The government of Labour prime minister Kevin Rudd has repeatedly asserted its position of not supplying uranium to NPT non-signatories -- India being one of them.

According to Indian officials, previous Australian governments had supported uranium exports to India.