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Australia, India to start civil nuclear cooperation talks in March 2013

22 Jan 2013

Australia and India are planning to start civil nuclear cooperation talks in March, which will augment the agreements signed between two countries in 2012.


External Affairs Minister of India, Salman Khurshid was quoted by the AFP as saying that the two nations will hold the first round of talks in New Delhi.

"We shall be commencing negotiations on a Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement in March," noted Khurshid.

In 2012, Australia had signed an agreement to open negotiations for export of uranium fuel to India.

Australian Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr said, "India is a key part of Australia's future".

The two nations have said that formal negotiations are expected to continue for about two years.

India is seeking close ties with a host of nations including Canada, Mongolia and Tajikistan that are rich in uranium deposits.

The country, largely dependent on coal, intends to increase the nuclear power generation capacity from the current 3% to about 25% by 2050.

Australia is believed to be the world's third largest uranium producer with an estimated 23% reserves.