Australia not to sell uranium to Pakistan

By Xinhua

Canberra : Australia Friday rejected Pakistan's call for selling uranium to the South Asian nation saying its civil nuclear facilities are not open to international inspection.

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Pakistan's Minister for Religious Affairs Ejaz ul-Haq said earlier Friday that if Australia was considering selling uranium to India, then Pakistan should be offered the same deal.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said selling uranium to Pakistan was out of question because Pakistan's two nuclear power stations were not monitored by the UN, Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.

Downer had said Thursday despite India not having signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, uranium could be sold to its power stations open to the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"I don't think there's any prospect in the foreseeable future of exporting to Pakistan, unless Pakistan gets into some sort of a system of UN inspections and control over its two civil nuclear facilities and it comes to Australia and seeks a nuclear safeguards agreement," he was quoted as saying.

"It doesn't seem likely that's about to happen," Downer added.

Ejaz ul-Haq said it was a diplomatic issue and Pakistan should be considered alongside India.

There are also media reports saying the Australian cabinet will soon consider a submission by Downer which allows the sell of uranium to India and has been finalised.