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Australia, India to sign civil nuclear deal in Sept: report

Australia and India have reached a deal on the much awaited civil nuclear agreement, which will be formally signed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott during his visit to Delhi next month, according to a report today.

The “agreement has now been reached, with Indian officials convincing their Australian counterparts that the uranium will not end up in nuclear weapons,” said the report published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

It said the two sides have struck the deal.

Prime Minister “Abbott is due to visit India early next month to formally sign the agreement,” it said, adding sources have said the negotiations have been concluded relatively quickly compared to India’s dealings with other exporters.

The negotiations between the two sides have been on since 2012 after Labor party reversed its decision to ban the uranium sale to India because New Delhi has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Australia holds about a third of the world’s recoverable uranium resources, and exports nearly 7,000 tonnes a year.

Energy-starved India is looking to nuclear power to supplement its existing options to fuel economic growth.

India has already concluded civil nuclear cooperation agreements with countries like Argentina and Kazakhstan.

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