Gillard's India visit may see progress in vexed Australian uranium sale imbroligio

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 14, 2012 05:30 hrs

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will seek to improve her country's ties with India during her three-day visit in which trade links, including possible future uranium sales, will figure strongly.

Gillard is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on Monday for what is being called as her major bilateral international trip for the year.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gillard are expected to announce minor progress towards uranium sales.

According to, last year, Gillard successfully pushed to overturn Labor's ban on uranium exports to India, imposed because it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

India is Australia's fourth-largest export market, with total two-way trade valued at more than 20 billion dollars.

The two countries are yet to formally begin negotiating the necessary nuclear safeguards agreement, which could take a year or more.

According to the report, Gillard will also seek to get the relationship back on track after a troubled few years between the countries due to racist attacks on Indian students in Melbourne, which unleashed a firestorm of anti-Australian sentiment in the South Asian nation.

Gillard will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and other senior government figures for talks on regional security issues, trade and investment, the report said.

She will also meet Indian Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj and National Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi.

Gillard is likely to extend a fresh invitation to Singh to visit Australia. He was meant to attend the CHOGM summit in Perth last year but pulled out, the report added. (ANI)

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