New Delhi: India and Australia have begun talks to strengthen economic and strategic ties and explore cooperation in civilian nuclear energy.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard began the daylong talks on Wednesday with her Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh.

Officials said the two leaders will discuss Australia’s decision to overturn a long-standing ban on exporting uranium to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. India has not signed the treaty.

Australia has 40 percent of the world’s known uranium reserves.

Gillard has said that she expects discussions on uranium sales to India to last one to two years.

(Agencies)

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