Oz defence minister all for N-trade with India

Smith also defended the Prime Minister for not formally consulting her cabinet before the major announcement on this policy shift, contending it was her prerogative to take the matter to the cabinet, or go it alone.

The minister said Gillard's move enjoyed high-level support in the government, including from Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

Arguing in favour of the sale of Uranium to India, Smith said India’s nuclear track record was exemplary and the country had zealously guarded its nuclear expertise.

“There’s no evidence over the years that India has in any way proliferated so far as Uranium or nuclear materials or nuclear expertise (is concerned),” he was quoted as saying by AAP.

Most importantly, he said, the prime minister and foreign minister were in agreement about reversing the sales ban to India, which is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

Gillard last week said she would take a proposal to allow India to buy Australian Uranium to a labour party vote next month.

Smith defended Gillard for not taking up the matter with the cabinet before making her announcement.

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