Australia Ships First Uranium to India for Testing, Bishop Say

New Delhi :Three years after signing of the Civil Nuclear Deal, Australia has started the supply of Uranium to India. Australia’s Foreign Minister Ms. Julie Bishop announced that first shipment of Uranium has been dispatched to India. However she denied disclosing further details. Foreign Minister Ms. Bishop also expressed the faith that the increasing strategic and economic cooperation between India and Australia will give stability to Indo-Pacific region.

Australian Foreign Minister Ms. Julie Bishop completed her two day visit to India during which she met with Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley, Foreign Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, and carried elaborate discussions on various issues.

During these discussions, Foreign Minister Ms. Bishop expressed concern over the tension that surfaced between India and China over “Doklam” issue and appealed to resolve this standoff by peaceful methods. At the same time she opposed the building and militarization of artificial islands by China in the South China Sea.

Ms. Julie Bishop also advised that China should respect the international rules and laws. The Australian Foreign Minister also pinched China while stating that China should learn from India on resolving its maritime boundary dispute with Bangladesh.

Before this, while conversing with the media, Ms. Bishop announced the dispatching of first consignment of Uranium from Australia to India. However Ms. Bishop did not divulge the details of the quantity and port of landing of Uranium in India. Indian authorities too refused to disclose any information.

While assuring that Australia will continue supply of Uranium to India, Ms. Julie Bishop expressed faith that India will remain firm on its assurance of non-proliferation of atomic weapons and will not misuse the Uranium being supplied by Australia.

The Civil Nuclear Deal between India and Australia was formulated in 2014. The then Australian Prime Minister Mr. Tony Abbott, on visiting had expressed that Australian Uranium supply will be very important for meeting increasing requirement of energy by India. Experts had claimed that post this treaty, the strategic configuration and co-operation between India and Australia had reached new heights.

Although, Australia the biggest supplier of Uranium in the world formulated this treaty three years back, the Australian parliament has endorsed this treaty only last December. India has not signed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Whether or not India will use the Uranium received from Australia for making Atomic weapons, was a concern under discussion in the Australian Parliament for a very long time. It is after this that  the Australian parliament endorsed  the said treaty between both the countries. Within six months of endorsing of the treaty, the first consignment of Uranium from Australia has been dispatched to India.

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